Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Tim Hortons Billionaire Co-Founder Loses Bid to Have Sex-Assault Suit Tossed

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Tim Hortons Billionaire Co-Founder Loses Bid to Have Sex-Assault Suit Tossed

Article excerpt

Tim Hortons co-founder to face sex-suit trial

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TORONTO - A woman's lawsuit alleging that the billionaire co-founder of Tim Hortons sexually assaulted her at his home will have to be decided at a full-blown trial, Ontario's top court ruled Friday.

Ron Joyce, 86, who has painted the woman with whom he had a one-time intimate relationship as a "pathological extortionist," had wanted the Court of Appeal to find he had already paid his 36-year-old accuser to stop pushing the assault allegation before she sued him for $7.5 million in 2013.

While overturning a lower court finding that no settlement had occurred, the Appeal Court nevertheless said it was in no position to agree with him and toss the suit.

"A genuine issue requiring a trial exists as to whether the parties settled (the plaintiff's) sexual assault claim," the Appeal Court ruled.

"Given the significant credibility disputes on material issues in this proceeding, including whether the parties reached an oral settlement agreement, this is not an appropriate case for this court to exercise its fact-finding powers."

As a result, the Appeal Court directed a trial on "all the issues."

In addition, the court ruled, Joyce will have to defend himself against the woman's allegation that he slandered her by, among other things, calling her crazy.

The case arose out of an alleged incident in May 2011, when the woman, who is representing herself in court, spent the night at Joyce's home in Burlington, Ont., so she could drive him to a medical appointment the following day.

She claims she awoke in the guest room early in the morning to find Joyce in her bed naked with his hands down her pyjama bottoms and his fingers in her vagina. He claims he merely tried to awaken her and did not touch her inappropriately.

Joyce also maintains he later paid her $50,000 to settle a $1. …

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