Carson McDowell secures dismissal of privacy action against newspaper

05 December 2019

Carson McDowell was instructed by a large Sunday newspaper to defend a claim taken by an individual who asserted that both her common law privacy rights and data protection rights had been unlawfully infringed by articles appearing in the paper.

The published articles the Plaintiff complained of reported on her recent wedding to a convicted armed robber in a high security prison and the arrangements put in place for this wedding, in circumstances where the groom had taken a prison staff member hostage just eleven days prior to the ceremony. The Plaintiff issued proceedings against the newspaper and others, contending the publications amounted to a misuse of her private information, and a breach of the Data Protection Act 1998.

Carson McDowell engaged in extensive investigations as part of its preparations to defend the claim, and the case was listed for trial on Thursday 5th December 2019. On the morning of trial, having been made aware of the investigations undertaken by Carson McDowell, Counsel for the Plaintiff informed the Court that the Plaintiff was unwilling to give evidence in the case.

In consequence, the Court dismissed the Plaintiff’s case in its entirety and made an order against the Plaintiff for the newspaper’s legal costs.