Phone hacking claimants drop exemplary damages case

 

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.

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before