There is a recent trend growing within the free speech loving IDW — suing institutions for defamation. Today, Jordan Peterson made it public that he is suing Wilfrid Laurier University for defamation.
Peterson alleges three professors of the university made defamatory comments about him during a disciplinary meeting with Lindsey Shepherd last November after she played clips of a televised debate between Peterson and Nicholas Matte regarding gender-neutral pronouns.
Peterson is suing for $1.5 million. He is seeking $500,000 for defamation, $500,000 for injurious falsehood and $500,000 in punitive damages.
While defamation suits are extremely hard to win, Peterson and his counsel may have momentum given the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) just paid out $3.3M to Intellectual Dark Web member Maajid Nawaz earlier this week. The SPLC had listed Nawaz on a list of radical Islamic extremists, which they later corrected. The initial inclusion of Nawaz on this list was defamation, Nawaz and his counsel claimed.
Instead of taking the matter to court, SPLC decided to settle for $3.3M. This settlement almost certainly spurred Peterson’s defamation suit, legal analysts believe. “The timing makes a lot of sense. The university may feel pressure to settle instead of pursuing the case because of the SPLC settlement. While SPLC did make a mistake in their characterization, the settlement was surprising. I’m sure Peterson feels empowered by this.”
Peterson’s defamation suit is an open, on-going Bernard Media investigation. More information will provided is at is made available.