“I’m sick and tired of it. Enough is enough. I can’t handle it any more. I can’t sit on the couch and do nothing,” said Toronto lawyer Jose Rodrigues, who launched stoprob.org at 9 p.m. Tuesday. “I’m trying to gather forces and move it ahead.”
To proceed to court, the claim would need to have a lead plaintiff and then be approved by a judge.
In a draft statement of claim posted on the website, Rodrigues, a fresh graduate from the University of Ottawa law school, is seeking $5.2 million in total damages — approximately a dollar for each Toronto resident in general plus a dollar each in punitive damages.
The plaintiffs will include residents of Toronto “whose reputation has been negatively impacted by the defendant’s admission to smoking crack cocaine coupled with his refusal to resign.”
It will also represent the businesses affected by the subsequent devaluation of the “Toronto Brand, causing the plaintiffs future loss of business opportunities.”
Within 30 minutes of the launch of the website, Rodrigues said “dozens” of people signed up as potential plaintiffs to represent other Torontonians in the planned action, which he hopes to file next week.
“In admitting to using crack cocaine and remaining in office, the Defendant blatantly breached his duty to consider the well-being and interests of the City,” says the seven-page proposed statement of claim.
“Secondly, the Defendant’s numerous displays of intoxication while in public and his admission to smoking crack cocaine coupled with his persistence to remain in office breached his duty to maintain the fiscal integrity of the city.”
Rodrigues, 28, who articled at the federal justice department and specializes in civil litigation, says the Toronto “brand” is an essential asset of the city, worth millions of dollars.
He cited media reports and opinions of marketing experts and businessmen to support his claims.
“The defendant’s ‘drunken stupors’ tarnish the value of the Toronto brand and jeopardized the value of one of the city’s most significant assets — its brand,” he said. “We have worked so hard to make Toronto a top-notch city.”Please share this