Phone hacking claimants drop exemplary damages case
Thursday 27 September 2012
Claimants in the phone-hacking litigation are not pursuing their case for punitive exemplary damages against News Group Newspapers (NGN).
Hugh Tomlinson QC told the High Court today that the provisional listing of September 2013 for the criminal trial of charges linked to the investigation had brought the civil proceedings, likely to be tried next June, into "sharp focus".
He said that the claim for exemplary damages - which NGN was asking Mr Justice Vos to strike out - would inevitably involve consideration of the state of mind of some of those facing criminal charges and there was great concern over any prejudice to the criminal proceedings.
Although it remained the claimants' view that it was a classic case for exemplary damages, it had been decided not to pursue it - on the basis that they would be fully and properly compensated by awards of ordinary and aggravated damages.
Dinah Rose QC, for NGN, said it had repeatedly made clear that it was prepared to pay full and fair compensation in every appropriate case.
"But this element of the claims was not appropriate or reasonable and not about compensation. It was an attempt to persuade the court to punish NGN by awarding financial windfalls to the claimants.
"We have said all along that this is unsustainable in law, unjustified and bound to fail.
"We are glad that the claimants have very sensibly seen the light and agreed to the proposal that they should abandon their claim."
The 10th case management conference in the proceedings, which will eventually culminate in the judge assessing compensation relating to 155 claims, will now consider the issues of proportionality and further disclosure.
The court will also sit on October 10 to consider an attempt to strike out the claim brought by Mary-Ellen Field, former adviser to model Elle Macpherson, on the basis that no phone interception took place, while another case management conference is listed for October 26.
The hearing was adjourned until tomorrow.
How the language you speak changes your view of the world
'Fire at every person you see': Israeli soldiers reveal they were ordered to shoot to kill in Gaza – even if the targets may have been civilians
Russell Brand backs Ed Miliband: 'You gotta vote Labour'
General Election 2015: 14-year-old boy asks Nick Clegg – 'can you kill Katie Hopkins?'
First-time buyers in London 'need to earn at least £77,000'
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
In defence of liberal democracy
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
- 1 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 3 General Election 2015: 14-year-old boy asks Nick Clegg – 'can you kill Katie Hopkins?'
- 5 YouTube social experiment shows just how easy it is to kidnap a child