The first High Court case where a Claimant was awarded paralleled damages for defamation and for breach of data
The case of Brian Dudley v Michael Phillips involves a financial advisor who became the victim of nearly 6 years of defamation and harassment campaign by a former colleague, Michael Phillips.
Mr Philips created a dedicated defamatory website against his victim, where he falsely accused him of being a fraud and operating a scam. He also posted a number of highly defamatory online reviews against his victim on the American website PissedConsumer.com. Naturally, this campaign of defamation had devastated Mr Dudley financially and emotionally, having committed no wrong. For a period of nearly 6 years, Mr Dudley tried to convince the operators of WordPress and PissedConsumer to delete the defamatory website and posts. Eventually upon recommendation of a friend, Mr Dudley approached Mr Cohen to assist him.
Yair Cohen filed claims against Mr Phillips for both, defamation and breach of data. The breach of data arose out of the defamatory posts, which, Mr Cohen submitted, were the posting of inaccurate data about Mr Dudley, in breach of Data Protection Act and GDPR.
Following a trial, the judge awarded, for the first time, damages for both breach of data and for defamation. Without the breach of data, the damages awarded could have been minimal, particularly considering that Mr Dudley claim for defamation was submitted far passed the 12 months limitation period.