|Invictus ex-subsidiary Stockhouse sues MacAskill |
2012-03-15 14:04 ET - Street Wire
by Mike Caswell
Stockhouse Publishing Ltd. has filed a lawsuit in the Supreme Court of British Columbia seeking an injunction against a user who has been creating an excessive number of new accounts, sometimes at the rate of 184 per day. The suit complains that the user, identified as Vancouver resident Daryl MacAskill, has become a substantial drain on time and resources. Stockhouse is asking for a court order that would bar him from creating or using accounts on its website.
The allegations are contained in a notice of claim that Stockhouse filed at the Vancouver courthouse on Feb. 28, 2012. It identifies Mr. MacAskill as a sometimes carpenter who lives in downtown Vancouver. He has been a frequent user of Stockhouse's forums over the past 12 years, posting under various aliases including "stoxxman," "Ace Ventura" and "Jeff Drakes."
The problems that Stockhouse complains of began in November, 2011, when Mr. MacAskill started creating a large volume of accounts on the website using e-mail addresses that were in the names of other people. The suit does not say how many accounts he made, but states that at one point he was creating as many as 184 per day. He continued registering the accounts even after having been suspended, prohibited and blocked from the website, according to the suit. Mr. MacAskill used the accounts to post material to the forums that was either defamatory, inaccurate, threatening or inflammatory, Stockhouse claims.
In an attempt to solve this problem, Stockhouse reached an agreement with Mr. MacAskill on Dec. 8, 2011, in which it would allow him to post on its forums using one account, which Mr. MacAskill chose to call "Stoxxman_Prejudice." In return, he would be expected to abide by the forum's rules. According to the suit, the truce did not last long. Less than two weeks later, on Dec. 20, 2011, Stockhouse suspended the Stoxxman_Prejudice account because Mr. MacAskill had once again posted material that was not suitable.
After the suspension of that account, Mr. MacAskill continued to create multiple new accounts, the suit states. This resulted in Stockhouse having to expend considerable resources to minimize his activities on the forums.
The suit seeks an injunction against Mr. MacAskill as well as general damages, interest and court costs. The case was filed on Stockhouse's behalf by Vancouver lawyer Ludmila Herbst of Farris Vaughan Wills & Murphy LLP.
MacAskill's prior legal battles
While Mr. MacAskill has not yet filed an answer to the suit, he is familiar with the court system. Without the benefit of a lawyer, he launched a lawsuit in 2009 against Hudson's Bay Company, claiming that he was tortured by store security. He complained that while he was at the company's store in Brentwood Town Centre on Dec. 10, 2008, a security guard detained him and handcuffed him very tightly. The guard then refused to allow him to go to the bathroom, which he urgently needed to do. Rather than suffer the humiliation of urinating himself, he chose to knock himself out by banging his head on the wall, the suit stated. His next memory was waking up in a puddle of urine before being escorted from the store by an RCMP officer. He was not charged.
Hudson's Bay, for its part, denied any wrongdoing. It said the security guard detained Mr. MacAskill after he tried to leave the store without paying for some chocolate milk. If he did suffer any injuries, they resulted from his participation in an illegal act, the company claimed. Mr. MacAskill eventually agreed to drop the suit on undisclosed terms.
He launched another self-filed suit in August, 2007, against a former employer, Kor Alta Construction Ltd. of Alberta. He claimed that the company constructively dismissed him from his job as a supervisor at a job site on Boundary Road in Vancouver after he complained about a lack of a plan to deal with asbestos at the site. Just before his dismissal, he had decided to drive to Alberta to meet with management to discuss the asbestos issue face-to-face. He sent an e-mail telling management he was coming.
According to the suit, he then travelled to Edmonton and checked his e-mail upon arriving. He found a message from the company telling him that he had been dismissed for abandoning his job and for sending an e-mail to his manager in an "inappropriate tone."
Kor-Alta, in response to the suit, denied any wrongdoing and said Mr. MacAskill had worked at the company for only a short period of time. A judge later dismissed the case, finding that it was an abuse of the process of the court.
Stockhouse no longer trades, the company having gone private in 2010. It was last owned by Invictus Financial Inc., which was downgraded to the NEX on Dec. 13, 2011.