The budget airline Ryanair has been pursuing claims for defamation against a number of organisations for defamatory comments including Channel 4, the Daily Mirror and The Independent newspapers, in particular Ryanair recently sued the Daily Mail newspaper for an article that suggested pilots employed by Ryanair, had raised concerns that the airlines fuel policy may have been putting passengers at risk.
Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary stated that he was forced to take the legal action as the defamatory comments may have adversely affected the survival of the airline, he commented:
“any airline can only survive on reputation of safety”
“we are content to allow the media or anybody else to make whatever claims they want but not inaccurate claims about our safety”
Ryanair reached an out-of court-settlement with the Daily Mail which the airline claims has vindicated its reputation.
In the UK Defamation is governed by the Defamation Act 1996, there is no single definition of what constitutes defamation in the act, however case law has defined what is meant by defamation in a number of cases, i.e. with regards to businesses Lord Person stated in the case of Drummon-Jackson v British Medical Association  that:
“words may be defamatory of a trader or business man or professional man, though they do not impute any moral fault or defect of personal character. They can be defamatory of him if they impute lack of qualification, knowledge, skill, capacity, judgement or efficiency in the conduct of his trade or business or professional activity.”
Lawdit have obtained compensation for many clients over the years that have been the victims of defamatory comments, for more information contact us.