Allsop v Allsop; 25 Apr 1860

References: (1860) 29 LJ (Ex) 315, [1860] EngR 661, (1860) 5 H & N 534, (1860) 157 ER 1292
Links: Commonlii
Coram: Martin B
Ratio:Complaint was made of illness allegedly caused by a slanderous imputation of unchastity to a married woman. The woman heard the slander at third hand. It was held that the woman could not claim special damages for her illness in an action for slander against the originator of the slander.
Held: Wright J took a narrow view of the case as an authority on the type of damages recoverable in an action for slander. He said that to adopt it as a rule of general application that illness resulting from a false statement could never give rise to a claim for damages would be difficult or impossible to defend.
Martin B said: ‘The law is jealous of actions for mere words, and the rules limiting these actions ought to be adhered to here’
This case is cited by:

  • Cited – Jones -v- Jones HL ([1916] 2 AC 481, Bailii, [1916] UKHL 2)
    The House described the different origins of libel and slander. Libel was regarded by the Court of Star Chamber not merely as a crime punishable as such, but also as a wrong carrying the penalty of general damages, and this remedy was carried . .
  • Approved – Lynch -v- Knight HL ((1861) 9 HLC 577, [1861] EngR 822, Commonlii, (1861) 11 ER 854)
    Lord Wensleydale said: ‘Mental pain or anxiety the law cannot value, and does not pretend to redress, when the unlawful act complained of causes that alone; though where material damage occurs, and is connected with it, it is impossible a jury, in . .
  • Cited – Rhodes -v- OPO and Another SC ([2015] 2 WLR 137, Bailii, [2015] UKSC 32, [2016] AC 219, [2015] EMLR 20, [2015] HRLR 11, [2015] WLR(D) 227, [2015] 4 All ER 1, WLRD, Bailii Summary, UKSC 2014/0251, SC, SC Summary, SC Video Summary)
    The mother sought to prevent a father from publishing a book about his life. It was to contain passages she said may cause psychological harm to their 12 year old son. Mother and son lived in the USA and the family court here had no jurisdiction to . .

(This list may be incomplete)

Last Update: 30-Jun-16
Ref: 199938