Lonzim Plc and Others v Sprague: QBD 11 Nov 2009

The court asked whether any damages recovered by the claimant might be so small as to be totally disproportionate to the very high costs that any libel action involves.
Held: Tugendhat J said: ‘It is not enough for a claimant to say that a defendant to a slander action should raise his defence and the matter go to trial. The fact of being sued at all is a serious interference with freedom of expression.’ He continued to strike out the claim, holding that there was no evidence of any substantial tort committed within the jurisdiction, observing: ‘It is the duty of the court to bring to an end proceedings that are not serving the legitimate purpose of defamation proceedings, which is to protect the claimant’s reputation. I have no hesitation in categorising this part of the claim as an abuse of the process of the court. The claim is vexatious.’
Tugendhat J
[2009] EWHC 2838 (QB)
England and Wales
CitedDow Jones and Co Inc v Jameel CA 3-Feb-2005
Presumption of Damage in Defamation is rebuttable
The defendant complained that the presumption in English law that the victim of a libel had suffered damage was incompatible with his right to a fair trial. They said the statements complained of were repetitions of statements made by US . .

Cited by:
CitedKaschke v Osler QBD 13-May-2010
The claimant sued in defamation as regards the defendant’s comments in his internet blog on her historical left wing political connections. She complained that they made a connection with terrorist activities. The defendant said that the article was . .
CitedBrady v Norman QBD 26-May-2010
The claimant appealed against refusal of the Master to extend the 12 month limitation period in his proposed defamation claim. The allegations related to a dispute at an Aslef barbecue, and later of forgery. The claimant was a former General . .
CitedThornton v Telegraph Media Group Ltd QBD 16-Jun-2010
The claimant said that a review of her book was defamatory and a malicious falsehood. The defendant now sought summary judgment or a ruling as to the meaning of the words complained of.
Held: The application for summary judgment succeeded. The . .
CitedWilliams v MGN Ltd QBD 2-Dec-2009
The claimant, who had been convicted of murder, complained that an article defamed him by calling him a ‘grass’ or police informer. The defendant asked that the claimant’s defamation action be struck out as an abuse.
Held: While the suggestion . .
CitedKaschke v Gray and Another QBD 23-Jul-2010
The claimant sought damages in defamation saying that the defendants had published a web page which falsely associated her with a terrorist gang in the 1970s. The defendants now sought a strike out of her claim as an abuse saying that a similar . .
CitedBrady v Norman CA 9-Feb-2011
The claimant sought to have disapplied the limitation period in his defamation claim. The claimant said that in the case of Cain, the Steedman case had not been cited, and that the decisions were incompatible, and that Cain was to be prefered.
Updated: 27 February 2021; Ref: scu.377863