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The claim alleges Lukacs, who has publicly raised concerns about the company’s business model, started publishing “false and/or misleading” information around the time NewLeaf started taking flight reservations on June 24.
“The defendant has instituted an unrelenting, aggressive and malicious attack targeted at NewLeaf and at NewLeaf’s potential and existing customers in particular through false and/or misleading information posted largely through social media,” part of the statement of claim reads.
It also wants a permanent injunction ordering Lukacs “to refrain from persisting in posting, publishing or otherwise communicating said false and misleading statements concerning NewLeaf,” according to the statement of claim.
None of the statements contained in the claim has been proven in court.
“I am quite troubled by what transpires as the media appearing to know more than me. One is left wondering about the true purpose and motive of what transpires as litigation by media,” he wrote in an email from Prague, where he was attending an academic symposium on mathematics.
NewLeaf had hoped to begin operations in January, but the Canadian Transportation Agency was in the middle of conducting a review of the licensing requirements of indirect air service carriers like NewLeaf.
In March, the CTA cleared the way for NewLeaf by announcing that resellers — companies like NewLeaf that purchase seats from an air carrier and resell them to the public — don’t have to hold their own air licences. Flair Airlines is a licensed carrier.
“I spoke to NewLeaf’s lawyer earlier this week about the motion for the injunction pending before the Federal Court of Appeal but he did not mention any lawsuit against me, which makes me wonder about the whole affair,” Lukacs wrote.
Lukacs, who is based in Halifax, has used Twitter and Facebook to question the viability and legality of NewLeaf’s business model. He has urged NewLeaf to ensure passengers’ tickets are honoured if the company folds.
All of the tweets cited in the claim were visible on his Twitter account, Air Passenger Rights, as of Friday. Some refer to accusations that NewLeaf owes more than $ 130,000 in unpaid bills to two consultants.
NewLeaf’s statement of claim alleges Lukacs’s claims are understood to mean that the company is operating illegally, has not received regulatory approval to operate as a reseller, is presenting itself as an air carrier and is insolvent or will become insolvent, among other things.
These are some of the tweets that NewLeaf alleges are defamatory, according to the company’s statement of claim:
Do not take your business to a company with unpaid bills.#Dont #GoNewleaf #TWWT https://t.co/cRqXnFlyuM
Read NewLeaf Travel Company’s statement of claim here:
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