Can Americans Make Successful Defamation Claims Across the Pond?

The case of The Bussey Law Firm PC and Timothy Raymond Bussey v Jason Paige [2015] EWHC 563 (QB) answers the above question in one simple answer. Yes.

The case concerned a claim against the Defendant who admitted that a negative review of the Claimant firm came from his Google account, but denied that he made the posting.

The Court found that since the review came from the Defendant’s own account, on the balance of probabilities, it was more than likely that he wrote and authorised the posting (for financial reasons).

The High Court awarded the US law firm and its principal £50,000 in damages for a defamatory posting on the firm’s Google Maps profile. If it were not for the voluntary cap, the American lawyer would have been awarded £45,000, taking into account the impact upon him personally and the need for clear vindication, moreover a further £25,000 would have been awarded to the law firm.

This case highlights the English Law principle that the words in question are actionable under the lex loci delicti doctrine, which translates to ‘the law of the place where the tort was committed.’

For further information, please contact Dominic Green on 020 7227 7411 or dominic.green@rlb-law.com.


Disclaimer

This briefing is for guidance purposes only. RadcliffesLeBrasseur accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever for any action taken or not taken in relation to this note and recommends that appropriate legal advice be taken having regard to a client's own particular circumstances.