The Court of Appeal has listed the appeal in the privacy damages case of Gulati v MGN on 20 and 21 October 2015. No indication has yet been given as to the constitution of the court.
On 21 May 2015, Mann J handed down judgment ( EWHC 1482 (Ch)) awarding substantial damages to the eight “test claimants” in the Mirror Phone Hacking litigation. We had a post about the decision at the time.
MGN sought permission to appeal (see our post here). This was refused by Mann J but granted on paper by Kitchin LJ on 7 August 2015.
Permission was granted on four grounds as follows:
Ground 1: The damages awards were disproportionate compared to the scale of damages for personal injuries.
Ground 2: The damages awards were disproportionate by comparison with awards made by the European Court of Human Rights for breaches of privacy.
Ground 3: Mann J erred in law in that there was double counting in the assessment of damages.
Ground 4: Mann J erred in law because he had failed to recognise that, in the case of an invasion of privacy rights, damages can only be awarded for distress or injury to feelings and not for the fact of the wrongdoing.
Kitchin LJ indicated that a “reasonable degree of expedition” was appropriate but the appeal has been listed extremely quickly and it is likely that there will be a decision this term.