Ontario Graphite Ltd. receives favourable ruling at Ontario Supreme Court
On Friday Feb 19, 2016 the Superior Court of Justice – Ontario released its ruling in the case of Ontario Graphite Ltd. v. Jerry Janik (“Janik”), Michael Coscia (“Coscia”) and Great Lakes Graphite Inc. The case was heard and ruled on by the Honourable Justice E. Stewart.
Justice Stewart found in favour of Ontario Graphite Ltd., granting an injunction to restrict what was found to be unlawful competition by the defendants, in breach of the contractual non-competition and fiduciary obligations of Janik and Coscia. The Court imposed an injunction restricting Janik and Coscia from working for Great Lakes Graphite (GLK-TSX.V) and from competing with Ontario Graphite anywhere in Canada for a period of 12 months and 6 months respectively.
In addition, Janik was ordered not to directly or indirectly solicit any employee or customer of Ontario Graphite for 12 months from the date of the Order. Janik, Coscia and Great Lakes Graphite were ordered not to directly or indirectly disclose or use any Ontario Graphite confidential information, and restricted from all attempts to solicit any of Ontario Graphite’s investors.
GLK was ordered to provide all such financial and other information relevant to Ontario Graphite’s claims to the Matheson micronization facility forthwith, and to maintain complete and meticulous records of all relevant investment activities, financial expenditures and profits, past, current and present, for production in the continuing action for damages.
Justice Stewart found that GLK employed Janik and Coscia and knowingly disregarded their obligations to OGL all the while raising capital and moving the Matheson plant toward production.
The Court ordered that the trial of the action should proceed on an expedited basis.
Ontario Graphite filed their claim against GLK, Janik and Coscia in May of 2015, the case was argued before the Court in September of 2015 and GLK only disclosed the lawsuit publically as a tertiary element in a press release in January of 2016. In the action, OGL claims damages of more than $6,000,000 from GLK, plus an accounting and disgorgement of the Defendants’ profits.
Ellerton Castor, OGL’s CFO and Chief Administrative Officer, stated, “We are very satisfied to be vindicated by this ruling. It was very disappointing for us to learn that Mr. Janik and Mr. Coscia were surreptitiously working behind the scenes with Great Lakes Graphite, at the same time they were employed by OGL with their full pay and benefits. This all occurred when OGL was working extremely hard to raise capital to move the company into production. Per the ruling we will focus on maximizing recovery of legal fees and damages from GLK. In addition, OGL with be diligent in its efforts to ensure that GLK adheres to the orders issued by Justice Stewart, contravention of which would constitute contempt of court on the parts of Coscia, Janik and GLK.”
Tom Burkett, Ontario Graphite’s CEO, stated, “We are very pleased to have this chapter behind us. We are now focused on moving OGL toward re-commissioning the Kearney Mine and on moving OGL forward for the future. Recently, we have made significant progress in eliminating debt and cleaning up our balance sheet. With the high growth prospects for natural graphite in a wide ranging number of industries like chemical processing, oil & natural gas drilling, Lithium-ion battery markets for electric vehicles and electronics, we believe OGL is poised to be a global leader in the natural Graphite Industry.”
Contrary to a press release issued by GLK, OGL is fully licensed and permitted for its Kearney Mine, and has always included the micronization and purification of its graphite production as an integral part of its strategic plan.
About Ontario Graphite Ltd.
Ontario Graphite Ltd. is a privately owned Canadian mining company committed to the responsible re- commissioning and operation of the Kearney Mine. The Mine, located in Kearney, Ontario, Canada (approximately 250 km north of Toronto), is one of the largest confirmed graphite mineral resource projects in North America and among the largest individual deposits in the world. Ontario Graphite's vision is to be the premier producer of natural flake graphite in North America.
To learn more about Ontario Graphite Ltd. and the Kearney Mine; please visit www.ontariographite.com.