Britain’s Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN) has lost its appeal over damages paid out to eight phone-hacking victims including an Indian-origin actress.
The publishers of ‘Daily Mirror’ and ‘Sunday Mirror’ had argued that the 1.25 million pound it was ordered to pay in total to victims was “out of all proportion” to the harm done to them.
In May, Justice Mann awarded compensation to eight people including Indian-origin actress Shobna Gulati and former footballer Paul Gascoigne.
He said the invasions of privacy were “serious” and “prolonged”.
The Mirror Group agreed it would pay but had disputed the amounts.
Lady Justice Arden, Lady Justice Rafferty and Lord Justice Kitchin upheld Justice Mann’s judgement.
“I have, as it happens, read the articles alongside the judge’s detailed rulings on them. It does not strike me reading them, in the light of the judge’s rulings and his factual findings, that any of them involved an error of law,” Arden said.
“MGN cannot expect this court to come to its rescue and find some way of finding the awards to be excessive when its staff have been responsible for disgraceful conduct with such distressing consequences, and when to boot it is quite unable itself to point to actual awards that it contends are wrong,” Arden added.
With the publisher facing further phone-hacking claims from more than 100 alleged victims, the failure of its appeal means it could now be facing more large payouts.
Mirror Group Newspapers name had come up during the inquiry of media-moghul Rupert Murdoch’s now-defunct News of the World phone-hacking scandal. The 168-year-old tabloid, Britain’s biggest-selling newspaper, sank in 2011 due to the rampant hacking scandal that had been going on for years.
The UK ended its four-year-old probe into the mammoth scandal that rocked country and led to the tabloid’s closure on December 11.