12/20/2013 06:56 EST | Updated 02/19/2014 05:59 EST

Owner of Saint-Lambert nursing home loses court case

The owner of a nursing home on Montreal’s South Shore, which is already under investigation for allegations of mistreatment, lost his bid to get a $250,000 lawsuit against him thrown out of court.

The case started in 2011, when PierretteThériault-Martel turned to the media about what she described as neglect at her mother's nursing home.

She claimed that Savoie tried to save money by telling staff to stop changing residents’ diapers overnight.

After Thériault-Martel went to the media with her story, Savoie responded with a $400,000 lawsuit saying she tarnished his name. He lost that case.

Woman sues back

Thériault-Martel is now suing Savoie for $250,000 in damages — a case Savoie tried, but failed, to have thrown out of court Friday.

A Quebec judge said Savoie attempted to silence and intimidate Thériault-Martel by filing a $400,000 defamation suit.

Thériault-Martel said in the Longueuil courthouse Friday that she felt her only option was to go public.

“They need somebody to talk for them, and I was there to see so [many things]. It's unbelievable. So now we see what's happening now. It's [continuing]. It's scary,” she said.

Thériault-Martel says her counter suit, where she's now seeking $250,000 in damages, is a matter of principle.

“It's not personal. Its about the true things of life. You don't accept when you see someone go to an animal and beat it. You're going to defend it. [The seniors] need somebody to talk for them."

Her lawyer Jean-Pierre Ménard says it could be a long legal battle, but they're ready to fight.

"We will represent her up to the end of this case — we will never be tired. Mrs. Martel is fed up — a lot," he said . 

Savoie refused to comment on the ruling, but his lawyer says they will appeal.