Belated attempt to amend Claim Form is rejected by the High Court
Michael Hollingsworth today failed in an attempt to persuade a judge that the Daily Mail should pay him the full £75,000 libel damages awarded to him by a jury last month.
The jury awarded Mr Hollingsworth £75,000 after a 5-day trial over a claim that he struck the first blow during a drink-fuelled row which ended his affair with DJ Harriet Scott.
After the jury returned its verdict on 25 May 2007, Mr Justice Eady ruled that Mr Hollingsworth should only recover £50,000, since he had limited his Claim Form to that amount.
Mr Justice Eady today rejected a bid by Mr Hollingsworth to change the order so that he could recover the full amount awarded by the jury.
During today’s hearing, Mr Hollingsworth’s lawyers said that they had been unaware of the £50,000 limit in the Claim Form until it was mentioned by lawyers acting for the Daily Mail during an argument on the last day of trial. Mr Hollingsworth’s representatives also said that they did not know that they could apply to increase the amount claimed after the jury returned its verdict.
Mr Justice Eady stated that he found the situation ‘unfortunate and regrettable’ but ruled that there were no circumstances justifying changing the order made at trial.
He also ordered the Daily Mail to pay Mr Hollingsworth £150,000 towards his legal costs within 14 days. Mr Hollingsworth’s costs are estimated to exceed £500,000 in total.
5RB‘s Adam Wolanski (instructed by RPC) acted for the Defendant.