A lawsuit against the province that alleged the late Rob Ford approved a jailhouse attack in 2012 against his sister’s estranged partner to stop him from talking about the then-Toronto mayor’s drug problems has been settled out of court.
Ontario Superior Court records indicate that the legal action initiated in 2014 by Scott MacIntyre was settled out of court on Feb. 13, a few weeks after a mediation session was held to try to end the dispute. The terms of the agreement are confidential, though court records show the Ontario government was the only remaining defendant. The lawsuit had named Rob Ford and three other individuals along with the province, which it accused of negligence in the beating.
Lawyers for Mr. MacIntyre obtained a court order in 2016 after Rob Ford died to permit the lawsuit to continue against his estate as one of the defendants. However, last July, they consented to dismiss the action against the estate without either side paying any of each other’s legal costs.
Andrew Morrison, a spokesman for the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, confirmed the lawsuit was “dismissed on consent” last month. When asked about the terms of the settlement, what investigation the province conducted into the jailhouse incident, or if Doug Ford – who became Ontario premier in 2018 – had any involvement in the resolution of the lawsuit, Mr. Morrison replied “it is not appropriate to comment further.”
Gavin Tighe, a Toronto lawyer who represented Rob Ford, said he did not know the terms of the settlement with the province. “I only dealt with the issues against Mr. Ford and the estate,” said Mr. Tighe.
“It was fantastical to think he engineered the attack,” added Mr. Tighe, in reference to the original allegations.
Payman Aboodowleh, a former assistant football coach at Don Bosco high school at the time Rob Ford was its head coach, was also dropped along the way as a defendant. His lawyer Anthony Marchetti also said there was no merit to the allegations against his client. “It was a ridiculous claim to begin with,” said Mr. Marchetti.
Sean Dewart, who represented Mr. MacIntyre, declined comment, when contacted by The Globe and Mail. Mr. MacIntyre could not be reached for comment.
None of the allegations were tested in court during the five years the case was continuing.
Mr. MacIntyre, 52, who has a lengthy criminal record, was attacked in the showers in March, 2012, by other inmates at the Metro West Detention Centre. Some of his teeth were shattered and one of his legs was broken severely. He was not transferred to hospital until 36 hours after the incident and suffered long-term injuries.
Video surveillance of the shower area had been disabled and guards did not respond promptly after the attack, his lawsuit alleged.
At the time of the beating, Mr. MacIntyre was in custody and awaiting trial on charges of possession of cocaine and heroin and uttering death threats against Rob Ford. In Mr. MacIntyre’s statement of claim, the January, 2012, incident that resulted in those criminal charges stemmed from his demand that Rob Ford repay a debt owed by his sister Kathy.
A couple weeks after his arrest he sent a letter to his estranged partner which was intercepted by officials at the jail and is part of the court record. “Well here I sit because your brother (the rat) picked up the phone and lied. I never threatened him at all,” wrote Mr. MacIntyre, while also promising to cause trouble for the then mayor.
The lawsuit claimed that two former Don Bosco high school football players who were also in custody at the same time as Mr. MacIntyre repeatedly warned him not to say anything about Rob Ford. Mr. MacIntyre could not identify his attackers because there was a towel on his head when he was beaten.
Mr. Aboodowleh, with the “explicit or tacit approval” of Rob Ford, contacted the two former football players and instructed them to “send a message” to Mr. MacIntyre, the lawsuit alleged.
A video that was surreptitiously recorded at the home of Mr. Aboodowleh and later made public showed Rob Ford in an agitated state and talking about threatening someone. The statement of claim filed by Mr. MacIntyre alleged that he was the subject of the threats. This is expressly denied in the statement of defence by Mr. Aboodowleh.
“The co-defendant Ford was making joking remarks about [former professional wrestler] Hulk Hogan. There was discussion about a proposed tag-team wrestling match and the defendant [Aboodowleh] was suggesting that Ford fight former boxing champ Mike Tyson in a charity boxing match,” the documents stated. “No one present took the comments seriously as they were intended as a parody of a professional wrestler ‘rant’ commonplace prior to such events.”