[JURIST] Hollinger Inc. [corporate website], the Canadian holding company with an interest in the newspaper publisher Hollinger International [corporate website], filed a lawsuit Thursday in an Ontario court against former CEO Conrad Black [CBC profile; JURIST news archive] and other former Hollinger associates requesting damages in excess of $700 million. The suit also names as defendants the Ravelston Corp. Ltd., the Black-controlled holding company that owns a majority of Hollinger, Inc. stock, as well as Black's wife. Hollinger said in a press release:
Hollinger is asking the Ontario Superior Court of Justice for 17 distinct forms of relief, including: $500 million in damages for breach of contract, conspiracy, negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, unjust enrichment and unlawful interference with the Hollinger Group's economic interest; additional damages totaling approximately $200 million; contribution and indemnity with respect to any judgment or order obtained against the Hollinger Group from certain legal proceedings; relief under the Canada Business Corporations Act, an order for compensation for oppressive conduct, and; a minimum of $5 million in punitive or exemplary damages.Hollinger also filed a counterclaim against Hollinger International [press release], alleging a scheme by Black to gain control of Hollinger Inc. by "strip[ping] Hollinger of assets by acquiring them at prices it knew to be far below fair value."
Hollinger, Inc. filed a similar civil lawsuit [JURIST report; press release] against Black in March, 2005. Black also faces criminal fraud charges [indictment, PDF] in connection with the $2.1 billion sale of several hundred Canadian newspapers and alleged abuse of corporate perquisites at Hollinger. He has pleaded not guilty [JURIST report] and his trial is set to begin in federal court in Chicago next March. CTV has more.