Business in Vancouver reported that a Canadian law firm has failed in its bid to have a CAD18 million ($13.4 million) lawsuit against them dismissed, which was filed by two international online gambling companies. However, the British Columbia Supreme Court ruled that the case should proceed.
Jazette and Go Forward Sue Beadle Defendants Over Alleged $13.4M Theft
The lawsuit was filed in 2019 by Jazette Enterprises Ltd. and Go Forward Solutions Ltd., companies based in Mauritius and St. Vincent and the Grenadines respectively, that operate an online gambling website. According to the plaintiffs, a sum of CAD18 million ($13.4 million) produced by the website was unlawfully taken in 2016 by some individuals associated with the enterprise, and subsequently transferred through a trust account administered by Beadle Raven.
Although the allegations have not been proven in court, the judge noted that it was clear from the evidence in the application that some CAD18 million ($13.4 million) did indeed pass through the trust account operated by the Beadle defendants. The matter is also the subject of litigation in Qatar.
To investigate the lost funds, the plaintiffs enlisted the services of a contractor. In October of the previous year, Charlotte Payne, one of the Jazette owners, was scheduled to participate in a discovery examination, which is a pre-trial procedure that allows parties in a civil dispute to obtain information from the other side. However, she ultimately declined to do so.
The plaintiffs then said that the contractor was the appropriate person to represent them for discovery. This led to an application by the Beadle defendants to have the case thrown out entirely for non-compliance.
Judge Orders Charlotte Payne to Attend Discovery Hearing
The judge rejected the request for dismissal, deeming it a particularly harsh measure since the plaintiffs proposed an alternative to Payne and the other Jazette owner Keith Helman and thus did not completely refuse the discovery process.
The judge further noted the gravity of the CAD18 million ($13.4 million) claim. She ordered Payne to attend a discovery hearing, noting that the Beadle defendants have read her affidavit, in which she claims to have little relevant knowledge and are still insisting on interviewing her for discovery.
The judge expressed that the Beadle defendants may be making an unwise choice by exercising their right to discovery with a representative who is unlikely to provide information or admissions that can strengthen their defense against the plaintiffs’ claims. However, the judge noted that it is not the court’s place to question the Beadle defendants’ litigation strategy.
The judge also stated that although Payne had a back ailment, she would need to be accommodated but could not skip discovery entirely for that reason.