Local council and newspaper pay substantial damages

Taxi drivers win long-running claim

Two female taxi drivers have accepted substantial compensation in settlement of their claim for libel against Fenland District Council and Archant Regional Limited.

Yesterday a statement in open court was read on behalf of the two claimant taxi drivers which recorded the following.

In May 2008 the council published a press release which accused Angel Travel, a taxi firm owned and run by Angela Mathias and her daughter Amanda Lopez, of abusing the system operated by the council for licensing taxi drivers and, among other things, driving without proper insurance.  These allegations were reported in the Cambs Times, which is published by Archant Regional.

The Cambs Times also published an allegation that one of Angel Travel’s drivers had been stopped for speeding at 76 MPH whilst carrying a child to a local school.  A later article also alleged that the Claimants had employed, and were responsible for, drivers who had endangered the lives of schoolchildren.

These allegations caused the Claimants’ business to collapse overnight. Initially they had to leave the local area because of the vilification that they were being subjected to.  The court heard that the effect of the allegations upon them had been catastrophic.

The court heard that the allegations made against the Claimants were false.

Both Claimants were able to bring their claim with the benefit of conditional fee agreements.

5RB’s William Bennett acted for the Claimants.  He was instructed by Taylor Hampton.