West Law Report

Offering to make amends

Posted in Times Law Report by mrkooenglish on December 12, 2008

From The Times
December 10, 2008
Offering to make amends

Queen’s Bench Division
Published December 10, 2008
Club la Costa (UK) plc v Gebhard and Another

An offer to make amends for a defamatory statement could not be valid without the offer or accepting that the specific defamatory meaning contained in the statement complained of was defamatory of the person bringing the complaint.

Mr Justice Tugendhat so held in the Queen’s Bench Division on October 24, 2008, in striking out part of the defence of the first defendant, Toby Gebhard, managing director of the second defendant, Inventory Solutions (UK) Ltd, regarding an action for slander brought by the claimant, Club la Costa (UK) plc.

HIS LORDSHIP said that a statement could not be defamatory in the abstract.

If a statement was accepted to be defamatory by the person making the offer under section 2(2) of the Defamation Act 1996, then he could not make that concession without at the same time conceding that the statement was defamatory of the person making the complaint.

Accordingly, the purported offers made by the defendant were not valid offers within the meaning of section 2(2) of the 1996 Act.

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