||All England Reporter
|| All ER (D) 187 (Mar)
|| EWCA Civ 343
||Court of Appeal, Civil Division
Schiemann, Rix and Keene
||Matthew Nicklin (instructed by John Collins & Partners, Swansea) for the claimant.
||Andrew Monson (instructed by Pinsent Curtis Biddle) for the defendant.
||13 March 2003
Libel and slander - Defamation - Action - Words capable of defamatory meaning - Defendant publishing letter regarding claimant's laser treatment system - Defendant applying to strike out allegations - Judge finding words capable of bearing defamatory meaning - Correctness of decision.
In a defamation case where the words complained of related on the face of them to a product, the issue on a application for a ruling as to meaning was whether those words were capable of reflecting adversely on the manufacturer or his conduct of his business, as opposed to being disparaging merely of the product. In the instant case, the words in the defendant's letter to customers of a salon were not reasonably capable of an inference that the claimant, the manufacturer of the laser treatment system, was responsible for it being introduced into the salon without medical supervision. In those circumstances, the case would have to proceed as a slander of goods case, not a defamation case.
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