07/09/2015 07:34 EDT | Updated 07/09/2016 05:59 EDT

B.C. Court of Appeal rules doctor didn't breach colleague's privacy

VANCOUVER - A Vancouver Island doctor who was ordered to pay $60,000 for breaching a colleague's privacy has won an appeal in British Columbia's highest court.

Dr. Akushla Wijay was one of three Port Alberni doctors sued for defamation by Dr. Magdy Fouad for conduct he alleged was calculated to destroy his reputation.

A B.C. Supreme Court judge found two of the doctors liable for defamation in May 2014, but dismissed the claim against Wijay, instead finding her liable for breaching Fouad's privacy.

The trial judge ruled Wijay was motivated by malice when she called a hospital worker on April 5, 2010 to check Fouad's credentials, ordering her to pay $60,000 in general and aggravated damages.

The B.C. Court of Appeal has overturned that ruling, stating no admissible evidence was presented at trial showing Wijay sought or received any information other than Fouad's credentials, which are publicly available.

As a result, it ruled there was no privacy breach and awarded the costs of the trial and appeal to Wijay.