Nail and Another v News Group Newspapers Ltd and others: CA 20 Dec 2004

The claimant appealed the award of damages in his claim for defamation. The defendants had variously issued apologies. The claimant had not complained initially as to one publication.
Held: In defamation proceedings the damage to feelings is assessed as at the point of assessment, and conduct of the defendant after the publication may aggravate or mitigate the damage and therefore the award. The court could not say the awards were wrong. Appeals dismissed.


Lord Justice Auld Lord Justice May


[2004] EWCA Civ 1708, [2005] 1 All ER 1040




Defamation Act 1996 2


England and Wales


CitedHorrocks v Lowe HL 1974
The plaintiff complained of an alleged slander spoken at a meeting of the Town Council. The council meeting was an occasion attracting qualified privilege. The judge at trial found that the councillor honestly believed that what he had said in the . .
CitedMilne v Express Newspapers CA 28-May-2004
The claimant, having not accepted an offer to make amends, wanted to proceed to a jury trial. To be permitted to do so, he had to seek to establish that the defendants ‘knew or had reason to believe that the statement complained of . . was both . .
CitedDingle v Associated Newspapers HL 1964
The plaintiff complained of an article written in the Daily Mail which included the reporting of a report of a Parliamentary select committee. The reporting of the select committee’s report was privileged under the Parliamentary Papers Act 1840. At . .
CitedTolstoy Miloslavsky v United Kingdom ECHR 19-Jul-1995
The applicant had been required to pay andpound;124,900 as security for the respondent’s costs as a condition of his appeal against an award of damages in a defamation case.
Held: It followed from established case law that article 6(1) did not . .
CitedAbu v MGN Ltd QBD 2003
There should be nothing in any sense ‘rough and ready’ about the assessment of the claimant’s reputation under the offer of amends procedure in the 1996 Act. If compensation is not agreed it should be determined by the court on the same principles . .
CitedJohn v MGN Ltd CA 12-Dec-1995
Defamation – Large Damages Awards
MGN appealed as to the level of damages awarded against it namely pounds 350,000 damages, comprising pounds 75,000 compensatory damages and pounds 275,000 exemplary damages. The newspaper contended that as a matter of principle there is no scope in . .
CitedCleese v Clark QBD 2003
The court looked at the calculation of damages after an offer of amends under the Act by the defendant.
Held: Such calculations have to be linked to the very different circumstances of each case. Comparisons with awards after jury trial were . .
CitedMawdsley v Guardian Newspapers Ltd QBD 2002
The court asked whether the summary judgment procedure under sections 8 to 10 of the 1996 Act, with its ceiling of andpound;10,000, was appropriate in a case in which a jury after a trial might award andpound;30,000. He decided that it was . .
CitedGorman v Mudd CA 15-Oct-1992
The plaintiff, a Conservative MP, complained of a ‘mock press release’ written and circulated by the defendant, Mudd, a prominent member of the local community and chairman of the Billericay Conservative Businessman’s Association, to ninety-one . .
CitedBonnick v Morris, The Gleaner Company Ltd and Allen PC 17-Jun-2002
(Jamaica) The appellant sought damages from the respondent journalists in defamation. They had claimed qualified privilege. The words alleged to be defamatory were ambiguous.
Held: The publishers were protected by Reynolds privilege. The court . .
CitedKiam v MGN Ltd CA 28-Jan-2002
Where a court regards a jury award in a defamation case as excessive, a ‘proper’ award can be substituted for it is not whatever sum court thinks appropriate, wholly uninfluenced by jury’s view, but the highest award which a jury could reasonably . .
CitedKiam v Neill and Another (No 2) CA 26-Jul-1996
An allegation of insolvency was made against a well known businessman. An apology in agreed terms was published after 3 weeks.
Held: A jury award of 45,000 in damages was not excessive for a libel despite an apology having been given. The . .
CitedHouston v Smith CA 16-Dec-1993
Doctors operated within the same building. The defendant falsely accused the plaintiff of harassing her and her staff, groping them and fondling them sexually. The allegation was made in the hearing of several of the plaintiff’s patients in the . .
Appeal fromNail v Jones, Harper Collins Publications Ltd; Nail v News Group Newspapers Ltd, Wade etc QBD 26-Mar-2004
The claimant was upset by an article published by the defendant making false allegations that he had behaved in a sexually profligate manner many years earlier. When it was substantially repeated he sued.
Held: The words were defamatory. An . .

Cited by:

CitedBowman v MGN Ltd QBD 26-Apr-2010
The claimant complained of an article on the defendant’s web-site. The defendant offered an unqualified offer of amends. The court was asked to settle an amount of compensation. Though the article was removed within a few hours and upon receipt of . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation, Damages

Updated: 27 June 2022; Ref: scu.220494