Source: All England Reporter
Publisher Citation: [2014] All ER (D) 71 (Aug)
Neutral Citation: [2014] EWHC 2831 (QB)
Court: Queen's Bench Division
Judge:

Mr Justice Bean

Representation Hugh Tomlinson QC (instructed by Wragge Lawrence Graham) for the claimants.
  David Price QC (of David Price Solicitors and Advocates) for the defendants.
Judgment Dates: 13 August 2014

Catchwords

Libel and slander - Defamation - Serious harm - Claimants being private landlord - Defendant publishing article in which it was alleged by claimants they were portrayed as 'slum landlords' - Claimants bringing action against defendants in defamation - Whether words capable of bearing meaning claimed by claimant - Whether serious harm being caused to reputation - .

The Case

Libel and slander Defamation. The first claimant was the CEO of the second claimant, a private landlord company. A newspaper article was published by the defendants in which it was alleged by the claimants had portrayed them as 'slum landlords'. The claimants brought a claim in defamation against the defendants as a result of the article. Following a trial of two preliminary issues, the Queen's Bench division held that the words complained of had the meaning that the claimants were a well-off landlord making money at the misery of the tenants. The claimants had nevertheless failed to demonstrated serious harm to reputations as required by of the Defamation Act 2013.

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