PORT HAWKESBURY – The declared winners of the $1.2 million Chase the Ace jackpot drawn last month in Margaree, Barbara Reddick of Sunnyville and her nephew Tyrone MacInnis of Glace Bay, will be heading to the Nova Scotia Supreme Court this month to resolve the dispute over who has a rightful claim to the money.
The dispute revolves around the fact that two names, Reddick's and MacInnis', were written on the winning Chase the Ace ticket. Reddick maintains that the ticket was bought by MacInnis with money she sent to him in an e-transfer for that purpose. She told her nephew to put his name, along with her own, on the ticket for good luck. She says she had no intention of splitting any winnings.
Adam Rodgers of the law firm Boudrot Rodgers has been hired to represent Reddick in the case.
At this point, Reddick has asked the court for a preservation order which if granted, “would freeze the asset and would prevent him (MacInnis) from transferring it to anyone else,” Rodgers told The Journal on Tuesday.
The first court appearance in regards to the case, on August 10 at the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia in Port Hawkesbury, should provide a ruling on the request for a preservation order but Rodgers anticipates little else will be decided on that day, except perhaps future court dates.
Rodgers said the case is not a complex one and he expects the entire process will take six months to a year to resolve. The time required is due to scheduling of judges and the court's existing roster of cases. “There is not that much in dispute here. I would hope it would be at the lower end of that range,” he said.
Last Friday, Rodgers was contacted by lawyer Candee McCarthy of Sydney who has been retained to represent the defendant Tyrone MacInnis. They haven't yet discussed the case, Rodgers said on Tuesday.
The point of law at issue, said Rodgers, is that there was never a contract established between Reddick and MacInnis in regards to what would happen if any money was won with the ticket.
“There was no mingling of funds to buy these tickets and that is what it is going to come down to; was there any consideration that would create a contract,” said Rodgers.
The submission of a request for a preservation order required an affidavit of facts from the plaintiff. The facts in the affidavit, as completed by Reddick, could be used in the case at a future date but Rodgers said in-person testimony would be part of any hearing.
Although the case is not complicated, Rodgers said it could not be heard in a lower level court due to the amount of the funds involved; $611,319.50.
When asked about Reddick's openness to mediation in the matter, which she expressed in an interview with The Journal last month, Rodgers said, “I am hopeful that that is a step both parties will embrace.” He added that the previously close relationship between the parties involved gives them a good chance at resolving the issue outside of the courtroom.
When asked for his final thoughts on the case Rodgers said, “Ms. Reddick has been getting a rough ride on social media...and in my view, I think that is unfair.” He said that Reddick is greatly saddened by the damage this incident has caused to her relationship with her beloved nephew MacInnis.
Rodgers is hopeful that the case will come to a happy conclusion and that family ties will be mended and redeemed.