Teal Jones sues Fairy Creek protesters for profit loss and reputation damage
February 1, 2024 By Jennifer Ellson
Teal Cedar, a division of Teal Jones Group, has filed a lawsuit against 15 individuals, as well as Atleo River Air Service, and the Rainforest Flying Squad, accusing them of obstructing and delaying road construction and forestry work in the Fairy Creek area in Vancouver Island, B.C.
The suit claims the defendants, involved in 2021 protests against old-growth logging, caused Teal Cedar financial losses, damaged goodwill, and harmed the company’s reputation.
The legal action also points to alleged conspiracy, citing acts like organizing blockades, recruiting participants, and fundraising.
The lawsuit lacks specific individual allegations prompting the defendants and their lawyers to await further details from Teal Cedar, said Kathleen Code of the Rainforest Flying Squad.
“There is no trial date set yet. The judge asked Teal Cedar to go back to the drawing board and provide more information about the civil claim,” Code explained. “Teal Cedar has just submitted the second iteration of the claim. This could go on for a very long time.”
Code asserted that there was no collusion or conspiracy among the protesters.
“There was no coordinated campaign or conspiracy among us,” Code told CFI. “During the protests, our focus was simply on urging people to sign a code of conduct at the site for maintaining peace. There was no organized effort.”
She added that those implicated in the civil lawsuit have engaged their own legal representation, underscoring the absence of any conspiracy.
“We have no idea how the 15 people were chosen.”
The name “Rainforest Flying Squad” also remains a point of contention. Teal Jones says they are a highly organized group, while Code clarifies it as an informal name used by some protesters. She adds that they also identify as the Fairy Creek Forest Defenders.
Teal Cedar did not respond to a request for comment.
The 2021 demonstrations opposing the logging of old-growth trees at Fairy Creek led to around 1,000 arrests. An injunction was originally granted to Teal Cedar in April 2021 to stop protesters from setting up camps in the Fairy Creek watershed area in an effort to stop the company’s logging activities. Teal Cedar pursued legal measures against those accused of interfering with its activities.
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