Tort Tuesday: Bad Ass v. Kicking Horse

A coffee cup breaking is pictured in this stock photo by Getty Images.
Stock photo by Getty Images

Holy coffee brands! For all of you thinking this item is from the Onion, we assure you this is a real legal case.

U.S.-based Bad Ass Coffee Co. is suing British Columbia’s Kicking Horse Coffee Co., alleging the Canadian company violated its trademark by calling their decaffeinated beans “Half Ass.”

Why anyone would want to drink coffee with the word “ass” in it is questionable, but the American company is neither thrilled nor flattered by the Canadian company’s branding.

Bad Ass filed its lawsuit in federal court in Salt Lake City, in claiming it has the exclusive right to “Half Ass” for its beans. The Utah firm also claims it has been using that brand name for more than 13 years and says Kicking Horse has only started using the same label last year.

Bad Ass is so enraged that it’s not only suing for an injunction, but is asking for triple damages. Here is the proverbial kicking horse, it wants all Half Ass products destroyed.

B.C. lawsuit involves missing-women memorial

A lawsuit was launched against the city of Vancouver for defamation and breach of contract, putting the kibosh on the Living Stones Project that commemorates murdered and missing women in British Columbia.

Unresolved cases of missing and murdered indigenous women have been a particular problem in the province, especially along Highway 16, commonly called the Highway of Tears.

Sean Kirkham started the project in order to commemorate the women. More than 60 plaques were planned, but only four went up and three were then removed by the city due to, what it alleges, was “lack of consensus” by the women’s families.

The three plaques removed commemorated some of serial murderer Robert Pickton’s victims: Georgina Papin; Marnie Frey; and Brenda Wolfe.

Kirkham is livid with the city. He’s not only angry over the removal of the stones, but claims he was bad-mouthed by city counsellor Kerry Lang in a news story about the project, which caused him great distress.

City officials were not available for comment.

Death no longer an out for impaired drivers in Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan Government Insurance has come up with a plan to allow victims of impaired drivers to finally be able to sue the drivers responsible, even if they’ve died.

As the law stands now, there is a loophole in the system that if the impaired driver dies in the accident, the victims have no recourse to sue him or her. That’s because the deceased isn’t charged with anything relating to impaired driving and therefore there was no ability to sue.

Additionally, it was hard for victims to sue when the driver didn’t die but was convicted of criminal charges, because they had to battle with SGI over benefits owed to them.

The new legislation is intended to be introduced this fall, but won’t be passed until provincial elections are done, sometime in April 2016.

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