Toronto after-hours club The Comfort Zone has filed a lawsuit against the Toronto Police Services Board and former chief Bill Blair for $23 million for alleged "abuse of power", the Toronto Star reports.
The club claims that the police have been pressuring them since January 2008, when 26-year-old Adam Fazio died in his home after allegedly buying GHB at the establishment. His death prompted Operation White Rabbit—an undercover sting by police on March 16, 2008, that obtained $35,000 in cash and roughly $30,000 in illegal drugs like cocaine, heroin, ecstasy, and GHB. However, there were no charges against the club or its management.
The Comfort Zone's lawsuit alleges that since Operation White Rabbit, Toronto police have "repeatedly attended the club, harassed patrons and staff and encouraged them not to attend"—with the ultimate intention of closing the club permanently.
In an interview with the Star, the venue's lawyer Barry Swadron stated, "Comfort Zone serves a useful purpose. It is extremely careful to ensure that it complies with the laws and acceptable procedures relating to health, safety and security...Rather than trying to shut it down, the Toronto police should live with Comfort Zone in a spirit of peaceful coexistence."