Trinity Mirror, the publisher of the UK Mirror and other outlets, still has to pay £1.2 million in damages to eight phone hacking victims, even though it has tried twice to get that number down.
Both the Supreme Court this month and the Court of Appeal in December rejected the company’s appeal request, the Guardian reported.
The ruling for that payout, which is about $2 million U.S, came in mid-2015, after a trial for victims actors Shane Richie, Shobna Gulati, Lucy Taggart and Sadie Frost; athlete Paul Gascoigne; executive Alan Yentob; producer Robert Ashworth; and flight attendant Lauren Alcorn. The Mirror said at the time of the ruling that it thought”the basis used for calculating the damages is incorrect.”
After the Supreme Court decision this week, the Mirror issued a press release, sent to iMediaEthics, confirming that the Supreme Court wasn’t taking its appeal and commenting that it “will continue to make efforts” to settle further hacking claims. The statement went on:
“There remains ongoing uncertainty in relation to how matters will progress. At this stage we believe there is no change to the provisions previously made in relation to resolving civil claims arising from phone hacking. Further updates will be made if our estimate of the financial exposure was to materially change.”
Hacked Off, a hacking victims’ advocacy group, sent a press release to iMediaEthics about the court’s decision to maintain the current payout. Its executive director Dr Evan Harris is quoted as saying in part:
“It’s time that the Mirror recognised the scale of criminal intrusion that took place, and the scale of their utter failure to prevent it, detect it, investigate it or admit it over many years. The newspaper is facing the prospect of hundreds of claims and we would encourage anyone who feels they may have been hacked to contact us for advice.
“The outcome of this case – final as it now is – will now also clearly apply to hacking claims still being made against the News of the World and the Sun.”
Harris went on to complain over a lack of disciplinary action for Mirror executives.
In addition to the victims who went to court, the Mirror settled other hacking lawsuits, including with a stunt double, and Jude Law’s assistant.
Last year, the UK police announced that it finished its investigation into hacking at News Corp and Trinity Mirror publications, as iMediaEthics wrote at the time.
In 2015, a lawyer for phone hacking victims estimated he had about 70 other victims to sue the Mirror for hacking.