Trinity Mirror bid to have £1.24m award reduced in phone hacking scandal denied
The UK newspaper company Trinity Mirror failed in its bid to have its payout of £1,237,300 reduced. The awards to eight phone-hacking targets, including actress Sadie Frost and former footballer Paul Gascoigne, were confirmed by the three judge panel.
“Each of the claimants gave evidence that the use of voicemail was a very significant part of their personal communications, and I accept that evidence,” wrote Lady Justice Arden in the ruling. “That means that their exposure was great. I also find that it is likely that a very substantial amount of this material will have passed to journalists other than those who listened to the voicemails.”
In 2014, Trinity Mirror admitted that some of its journalists had been involved in phone hacking, and agreed to pay compensation to four of victims who had sued the publisher. The publisher also settled six other claims.
Then in May, the massive £1.2m was awarded to eight people, with actress Sadie Frost awarded £260,250. These much larger awards led to the appeal by Trinity Mirror.
“The fact that they are greater than any other publicly available award results from the fact that the invasions of privacy involved were so serious and so prolonged,” the judge said today. “People whose private voicemail messages were hacked so often and for so long, and had very significant parts of their private lives exposed, and then reported on, are entitled to significant compensation.”
A spokesman for Trinity Mirror said the company is disappointed in the decision (no doubt).
“We are disappointed that the original judgement in the civil trial for the assessment of damages related to phone hacking has been upheld. We continue to believe that that the basis used for calculating damages is incorrect and the amounts awarded are excessive and disproportionate, far beyond what could be expected in cases of serious physical injury or mental suffering.”