Two Ontario university professors who were being sued for defamation by controversial writer and professor Jordan Peterson for comments made during a private meeting accused a former teaching assistant who recorded conversations responsible for wider publications.
Nathan Rambukkana and Herbert Pimlott, who taught at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, retained their comments about Peterson who were not defamatory but denied in third party claims that they could not know that the statement would be recorded or disseminated outside of November. 2017 meeting
The couple accused Lindsay Shepherd, then teaching assistant, of having "strength and control" over the recording and distribution of conversations, and intended that the contents of the meeting potentially be widely available and discussed.
Therefore, they argued, if the court found Peterson to have suffered damage or injury, it would be "attributed to Shepherd and the publication and distribution" of the tape.
The allegations have not been proven in court and Shepherd's lawyer said the young woman had not been served with the document.
Howard Levitt said that although he had not seen the claim, his client would defend himself against the allegations. He further said the professors' arguments made no sense considering the conversation was also shared by media outlets and others.
"Why don't you sue all the news agencies … who publish it, if that's really your position?" Levitt said to The Canadian Press.
Neither Rambukan nor Pimlott immediately responded to requests for comment, but they had previously denied the allegations in Peterson's lawsuit.
At the second heart of the suit is the 2017 meeting between professors, staff members Laurier and Shepherd, who at the time were teaching assistants in the Rambukkana communication class.
According to Peterson's unproven claims, the disciplinary meeting was held after Shepherd showed students excerpts from TVOntario broadcasts in which Peterson maintained his opposition to gender-neutral pronouns.
Peterson, a University of Toronto psychology professor who has received international attention for his views on freedom of speech and political correctness, stated in his lawsuit that professors and staff members compared him to Adolf Hitler and accused him of being a "cheat" during the course. meeting.
Shepherd recorded the discussion and then posted an audio to Youtube, where Peterson – who was looking for $ 1.5 million in damage – accused anyone who searched for his name online could be affected.
"This has a significant impact on Peterson's reputation among those who deal with him, including fellow academics, prospective students or students, the university where he works and those who might read his books or listen to his lectures," the claim said.
Peterson further accused Wilfrid Laurier University of being responsible for the behavior of its employees.
Shepherd, meanwhile, has filed his own lawsuit against Laurier who claimed the university was negligent and made him unemployed in the academic world after the incident.
Wilfrid Laurier University said it would fight the lawsuits of Peterson and Shepherd.