You can’t sue just because you’ve embarrassed yourself (or your friend betrays you).

Supreme Court of Canada - From Wikipedia
Supreme Court of Canada – From Wikipedia

Some words of warning from the courts: if you do something embarrassing at a party, you can’t sue if your soon-to-be-ex friends post a picture of it on Twitter, Facebook or some other social media (at least, outside Quebec, where privacy laws are pretty strict).

This week, the Supreme Court of Canada turned down an application for leave to appeal the Ontario Court of Appeal decision in Asghar v. Alon, 2019 ONCA 249. Mr. Ashgar was at a party hosted by Mr. Alon when a rather hokey party game broke out. The person running the game offered a prize to the first person who could produce a condom. Mr. Ashgar won that contest, and was photographed by Mr. Alon proudly holding the condom. Mr. Alon then posted the picture on Twitter, along with a bit of commentary.

Ontario courts have recognized a tort of “intrusion upon seclusion”, or, in plainer English, invasion of privacy. But in this case, there was no reasonable expectation of privacy, since Mr. Asghar was in a crowd of people when he whipped out his rubber.

Mr. Asghar sued for libel.

Mr. Alon used the fairly obvious defence of “truth”, which really is the best one available. An Ontario motions court granted summary judgment in the case. This decision was upheld at the Court of Appeal and leave to the Supreme Court was denied this week.