Home News Rosenshein suing ASEQ for $130,000

Rosenshein suing ASEQ for $130,000

by Archives September 29, 2009

A former Concordia Student Union politician is suing Concordia’s health plan provider and the company’s owner for defamation. Steven Rosenshein claims that Lev Bukhman, who owns Alliance pour la santé étudiante au Québec – the company that provides Concordia’s student health and dental plan – attacked Rosenshein’s reputation “for the sole purpose of discrediting the CSU executive that would dare not renew ASEQ’s contract.”
Last February, Bukhman sent an open letter to CSU and university officials as well as campus media, alleging the CSU was acting in bad faith towards him and his company.
In the letter he also accused Rosenshein of asking him for a $25,000 kickback, which would have allegedly gone to fund the Unity slate during the Spring 2008 CSU elections. Because he refused to pay the kickback, the CSU cancelled their health plan contract with ASEQ, according to Bukhman. Instead, the CSU signed a plan with the Canadian Federation of Students-Services, through their “National Student Health Network.” That decision has since been reversed and the CSU has re-signed with ASEQ.
According to Rosenshein’s statement of claim filed with the Quebec Superior Court, Bukhman “decided to defame Rosenshein as part of a larger plan to discredit the 2008 – 2009 CSU executive and to try and influence” Concordia student politics, in an effort to remain the CSU’s insurance brokers. Rosenshein is seeking $130,000 in damages and legal fees.
Rosenshein had a long, and sometimes controversial career with the CSU, serving as council chair, VP communications and as a councillor. During his council term he came under fire for sitting as a representative for independent students despite not being an independent student, which is forbidden under CSU rules.
Bukhman claimed that Rosenshein asked for the bribe on March 6, 2008, after a speech by Al Sharpton at Concordia. While Rosenshein’s claim acknowledges the two talked about money that evening, he claims that he was asking Bukhman about a $12,500 donation he said Bukhman had promised the CSU.
According to the statement of claim, Rosenshein was worried “as the next year would bring in new executives who might not know about the donation.”
While Bukhman’s letter claimed Rosenshein had acted as campaign manager for the Unity slate during the Spring 2007 elections, according to Rosenshein’s claim, he “barely involved himself with the CSU campaign, in any case the campaign itself was uneventful,” as Unity ran unopposed.
The statement also claims that “Rosenshein never intended or tried to influence the the 2008 – 2009 executive to sever its ties with ASEQ.”
While he does admit that he questioned the renewal of the contract, other councillors also shared his concerns. He also denies taking any action on issue beyond asking questions at council meetings.
Rosenshein is claiming the allegations were more damaging because he was an employee of the Canadian Federation of Students-Quebec at the time Bukhman made them.
Rosenshein is seeking for $75,000 for damage to his reputation and $25,000 for punitive and exemplary damages, as well as $30,000 to cover his legal fees.
None of the allegations have been proven in court.
The case, which was filed in April, is still in the discovery phase, in which the two parties can gather evidence and question witnesses. Rosenshein has until Oct. 14 to finish discovery. If the case does make it to trial, a court date would still be months away.
Requests for comment from Lev Bukhman and to Rosenshein, through his lawyer, were not returned by press time.

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