Woman awarded €7,500 damages for Defamation

Jodie Hayes - defamation claimMs Hayes, a 22 year old student sued the security company, Vision Security Group Ltd of Blanchardstown Corporate Park, Ballycoolin after she was asked to leave the River Island Store in the Ilac Shopping Centre, Dublin, by security guard Wayne Mitchell in 2013.

The court heard how Ms Hayes queried why she was being asked to leave the store and that Mr Mitchell had told her “you know why” and directed her out of the store. This caused her embarrassment as it was in front of friends and other customers.

Ms Hayes denied using vulgar language and calling the security guard names.

It was heard how the store management decided to bar Ms Hayes as she had used abusive language previously when she was asked to leave after her friend had allegedly removed a security tag from an item. The security company denied accusing Ms Hayes of shoplifting.

Ms Hayes informed the court that she was not aware that she was barred from the store and that Mr Mitchell had told her that she could return when she had calmed down. Judge Hannan was satisfied that although words were spoken between Ms Hayes and Mr Mitchell, Ms Hayes was under the impression that she could return to the store. The judge accepted that Ms Hayes had in fact been defamed when Mr Mitchell decided to approach her and speak to her in front of her friends and other customers.

Ms Hayes was awarded €7,500 damages along with her legal costs in the Circuit Civil Court.

Defamation can arise in many ways, through the spoken word, through the press or a magazine article, and in our modern era of communication, through electronic media such as blogs, internet articles and even twitter.  The 2009 Defamation Act protects the right to one’s good name. If you feel that you have been defamed please do not hesitate to contact Tiernan & Co. Solicitors where we will be able to advise you on the best course of action to take.

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