- Assessing damages where an offer of amends is made (Gale v Scannella)
- What are the practical implications of this case?
- What was the background?
- What did the court decide?
- Case details
TMT analysis: This is a judgment assessing damages for a libel on Twitter following an offer of amends, including the assessment of the level of discount that should be applied to damages in these circumstances. The offer of amends procedure is set out in sections 2–4 of the Defamation Act 1996 and involves a defendant offering to make a suitable correction and sufficient apology, to publish that correction and apology in a manner that is reasonable and practicable in the circumstances, and to pay such compensation (if any) and costs as may be agreed or determined to be payable. It is intended to bring an end to the litigation with the court having the power to determine any areas on which agreement has not been reached. A discount of up to 50% of damages can be applied by the court where an offer of amends has been made. The court held that damages of £8,000 were appropriate in this case and applied a discount of a third as a result of the offer of amends. In addition to providing guidance on the discount for an offer of amends, this judgment also provides an indication as to how the courts will assess damages in a case where the libel has a more local effect. Written by Carolyn Pepper, partner at Reed Smith.
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