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Cassidy v Daily Mirror

[1929] 2 KB 331:

Case summary last updated at 17/01/2020 18:21 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case Cassidy v Daily Mirror

P sued D who published a picture claiming that her husband, X, was due to marry another woman i.e. that he was single. This was after X had claimed it to be the case. P claimed that this implied that she was living “in a state of immoral cohabitation” with a single man. CA found for P. 

Scrutton LJ: It is possible to defame people indirectly. E.g. If I claim that X is illegitimate, this defames X’s parents indirectly. Similarly to claim that a man is single is libellous of his wife. It is no defence to say that D did not know of P’s existence since the publisher must bear the risk fo inferences reasonably drawn from his words. 

Russell LJ: Liability for libel “does not depend on the intention of the defamer; but on the fact of defamation.The Newspaper is paying a price for failing to inquire as to the truth. 

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