A professional fundraiser in Halifax has filed a lawsuit against one of the co-founders of Clearwater Seafoods, claiming that he subjected her to repeated and unwelcome sexual comments that made her fear for her safety. Liz LeClair, in her notice of action filed at the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia, is seeking $300,000 in damages from Colin MacDonald. LeClair alleges that MacDonald made inappropriate sexual comments towards her over a period of five years, starting in 2013 when they met through her fundraising work at the IWK Foundation.
The court documents state that LeClair’s role required her to interact with major donors, including MacDonald, who was 31 years her senior and married. The allegations further describe that MacDonald made sexual comments towards LeClair during in-person meetings, phone calls, and through text messages and emails. The claims highlight one incident during a work trip in April 2014 when MacDonald allegedly asked explicit questions about LeClair’s sexual history and proposed having sex with her.
LeClair states that she felt horrified by these comments but feared angering MacDonald. She alleges that MacDonald implied the trip was a ruse to get her alone and that he became sullen and angry when she refused his advances. The lawsuit asserts that LeClair experienced mental distress as a result of the alleged harassment and suffered from psychological issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety.
The civil suit against MacDonald is a significant step for LeClair, who previously filed complaints with various organizations about his conduct. She explains that this legal action is her last recourse to hold him accountable for his actions. MacDonald has not yet been served with the statement of claim and has not responded to the allegations.
While sexual assault typically involves physical contact, in the context of the civil case, LeClair’s lawyer argues that the allegations constitute the tort of sexual assault and intentional infliction of mental distress. This legal approach allows judges to address situations without specific statutes while providing compensation for victims.
Q: What is the lawsuit about?
A: The lawsuit alleges that Colin MacDonald, co-founder of Clearwater Seafoods, made repeated sexual comments towards Liz LeClair, causing her fear and distress.
Q: How long did the alleged harassment occur?
A: LeClair claims that MacDonald made inappropriate comments towards her over a period of five years, starting in 2013.
Q: What psychological issues has LeClair suffered from?
A: LeClair’s lawsuit states that she has suffered from psychological distress, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety, among other problems.
Q: What legal approach is being taken in this case?
A: LeClair’s lawyer argues that the allegations constitute the tort of sexual assault and intentional infliction of mental distress. This approach allows judges to address situations without specific statutes while providing compensation for victims.