One of Alberta's most popular mountain ski resorts is suing two former employees for defamation.
According to the Calgary Herald, Sunshine Village Ski and Snowboard Resort is suing ex-employees Chris Chevalier and Christopher Conway for organizing a boycott campaign that they say significantly hurt sales of season and day passes.
The move comes as part of an ongoing battle between ski resort management and former workers who were fired two years ago. Four former employees have sued the ski hill, claiming that they were wrongfully terminated in 2010 after confronting another employee who was skiing with friends in an out-of-bounds area. The ski hill has defended the terminations, claiming that the workers were fired for reasons that included fraud, dishonesty and sexual harassment.
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Sunshine Village suing former employees. wow Dick move @sunshinevillage glad we'll be skiing at Louise this year #yyc http://t.co/7VtZoLmu
“@calgaryherald: Sunshine Village suing former employees over boycott” @sunshinevillage u shld be ashamed! U shld be embarassed. #boycott
“@calgaryherald: Sunshine Village suing former employees over boycott” Fucking awesome Sunshine, you guys make skiing so fun!
I'd be willing to take @SunshineVillage to court because they are greedy ignorant unfriendly people who downright suck at customer service
I encourage my twitter friends to avoid @SunshineVillage if you're looking for a pleasant snow sliding experience. #yyc #yeg #alberta #sueme
Oh boy. “@CBCCalgary: Sunshine Village suing fired ski patrollers http://t.co/ny4xKFqZ” #casestudy
Wow, social media campaign leads to lawsuit. Trouble on the slopes in the Canadian Rockies. http://t.co/AgOSSvM0. #banff
Wow. Talk about being a baby. "@calgaryherald: Sunshine Village suing former employees over boycott http://t.co/eMcKslfD"
@jordancooloser sunshine village aint all sunshine and rainbows?
The whole thing sounds like a made for TV comedy http://t.co/IPj4QaA5
Sunshine is accusing Chevalier and Conway, along with unidentified others, of creating and selling t-shirts and stickers urging a boycott of the ski hill, creating a Facebook page encouraging a boycott, as well as distributing a flyer to homes in Canmore and Banff that encouraged residents to not buy passes to the hill.
"Since the inception of the campaign, the number of season and day passes sold by Sunshine in 2011 and the subsequent seasons was significantly lower than previous years in the Banff and Canmore region, which were the focus of the campaign," the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit also names 42 websites that contain what the ski hill believes are misrepresentations about the firings, reports the CBC.
According to the Herald, Sunshine is seeking $300,000 and other damages.
James Swanson, a Calgary lawyer specializing in new media cases, told the CBC tracking online behaviour can be difficult and there may be problems proving some of the claims in court.
"Really when you're tracking things like this online you're going through various custodians of information that probably don't have all the information. Facebook has an IP address, the internet service provider has that number, plus account information."
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