In­junc­tion de­nied

Judge de­nies ap­pli­ca­tion to split $100,000 grand prize

Cape Breton Post - - FRONT PAGE - BY CAPE BRETON POST STAFF

They had hoped to split a $100,000 prize but in­stead four Cape Bre­ton­ers are now split­ting $1,200 in le­gal fees.

The four were among five fi­nal­ists se­lected last month in a grand prize draw cel­e­brat­ing Syd­ney-based Mac­Don­ald Auto Group’s 50th an­niver­sary. Prior to the draw, the five did agree to split the prize that would have guar­an­teed each walk­ing out the door with $20,000.

Darin Sey­mour of Glace Bay won the draw. He did not at­tend but was rep­re­sented by his wife, Kim.

The Sey­mours de­clined to share the prize af­ter the fact and the other four con­tes­tants filed an in­junc­tion ap­pli­ca­tion with the Supreme Court ask­ing that the agree­ment be en­forced.

In a rul­ing is­sued Wed­nes­day, Jus­tice Frank Ed­wards de­nied the ap­pli­ca­tion.

“Kim, as Darin’s agent, had no au­thor­ity (ac­tual, im­plied or ap­par­ent) to com­mit Darin to share his $100,000 grand prize,” said Ed­wards, in a writ­ten de­ci­sion.

Ed­wards noted that one other contestant rep­re­sented at the draw by a fam­ily mem­ber was con­tacted about split­ting the prize and gave their con­sent prior to the draw.

Darin Sey­mour was not con­tacted prior to the draw.

“Kim did not con­sult Darin. The waiver signed by Kim for the deal­er­ship would in no way ex­pand her au­thor­ity to sim­ply ac­cept the prize,” said Ed­wards.

He said one per­son, even a spouse, can­not make a de­ci­sion like this one for another per­son with­out that per­son’s au­tho­riza­tion.

“The agree­ment was spawned in a highly charged at­mos­phere. It is un­der­stand­able that the cru­cial is­sue of Darin’s in­put sim­ply got over­looked. There is no ev­i­dence that any­one even asked Kim whether she was sure her hus­band would go along with the deal.”

Ed­wards con­cluded that Darin Sey­mour did noth­ing to give any­one the im­pres­sion he would au­tho­rize his spouse to do any­thing more than sim­ply pick up his prize if he was the win­ner.

“The fact is that Darin won, he never agreed to share his prize, and he never au­tho­rized his wife to make such an ar­range­ment,” the judge said.

In deny­ing the in­junc­tion, Ed­wards said the four plain­tiffs have no chance of con­vinc­ing a court that Darin Sey­mour is con­trac­tu­ally bound to share his win­nings.

Ed­wards or­dered the four to pay $1,200 in le­gal costs to the Sey­mours.

Syd­ney lawyer Candee McCarthy rep­re­sented the Sey­mours and said Wed­nes­day her clients were happy with the de­ci­sion. “They are hope­ful that this will con­clude the lit­i­ga­tion and they can move on and en­joy their win­nings,” said McCarthy, in of­fer­ing com­ment on be­half of her clients.

For­tu­nately for the Sey­mour’s, she said, the judge con­cluded there was no en­force­able agree­ment to the stan­dard up­held by the Supreme Court.

“My clients will be happy to put this be­hind them and hope that ev­ery­one can move on,” she said.

Chris­tine Mur­ray rep­re­sented the plain­tiffs and said Wed­nes­day that her clients were dis­ap­pointed with the out­come.

“We cer­tainly felt Mrs. Sey­mour did have Mr. Sey­mour’s au­thor­ity, by way of ap­par­ent or os­ten­si­ble au­thor­ity, as he sent her to the draw to act on his be­half,” said Mur­ray.

The plain­tiffs in the case were Priscilla Gould of Eska­soni, Karen Doucette of Eska­soni, Rita MacMullin of Syd­ney Mines, and Matthew Stand­ing of North Syd­ney.

In af­fi­davits filed in con­nec­tion with the in­junc­tion ap­pli­ca­tion, Darin Sey­mour said he would never have agreed to split the prize with four strangers.

As to what the Sey­mour’s now plan to do with their win­nings, they had stated they want to make re­pairs to their home and take their young daugh­ter to Walt Dis­ney World.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Kim Sey­mour rep­re­sented her hus­band at the grand prize draw.

CAPE BRETON POST PHOTO

Darin Sey­mour says he wasn’t con­tacted prior to the draw.

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