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ZC -v- Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust (anonymity order published under CPR 39.2(5)

|High Court|Anonymity Order

Claim No: HW17C03429

In the High Court of Justice

Queen’s Bench Division

29 July 2019

 

Before:

Mr Justice Julian Knowles

Between:

ZC

-v-

Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust

 


ORDER

FOLLOWING A TRIAL at which the Claimant appeared in person and Christopher Loxton of counsel appeared for the Defendant

IT IS ORDERED THAT:

1. The Claimant’s claims be dismissed and there be judgment for the Defendant.

2. The Claimant’s application pursuant to CPR r 39.214) that she is not identified be refused. However:

a. Pursuant to CPR r 39.2(4) in any report of these proceedings there shall be no publication of the name or address of the Claimant, nor of any of the names used by her that are referred to in the judgment, nor of any other particulars likely to lead to her identification. In the proceedings the Clamant shall be anonymised and referred to as “ZC’ and in the judgment she shall be referred to by the initials of other names she has used. This is subject to [2(b)] or until further order of the Court.

b. In the event that the Claimant does not apply to the Court of Appeal for permission to appeal against the order refusing anonymisation, or such permission is refused, or any appeal is unsuccessful, then this temporary order for anonymisation in 2(a) shall lapse and a revised judgement will be published under the Claimant’s name, and the other names which she has used will be referred 10 in the judgment.

3. The Claimant is to pay the Defendant’s costs on an indemnity basis, to be subject to a detailed assessment if not agreed

4. Permission to appeal is refused.

REASONS

1. For the reasons set out in the main judgment, the Claimant’s claims in defamation and for misuse of private information/breach of Article 8 of the ECHR are dismissed and there is to be judgment for the Defendant.

2. For the reasons set out fully in a judgment which is confidential to the parties, and which are briefly referred to in the open published judgment, I refuse the Claimant’s application for anonymisation. However, I have issued the judgment in an anonymised form and made an order prohibiting publication of any information likely to lead to the Claimant’s identification pending further order to preserve the status quo to allow the Claimant an opportunity to apply for permission to appeal against this refusal to the Court of Appeal. Per [2(b)], in the event that no such application is made, or is made and is unsuccessful, or any appeal is dismissed, then this temporary order will lapse, and the judgment will be published in an unredacted form.

3. The Claimant having been unsuccessful, costs should follow the event. Also, having regard to the principles in Three Rivers District Council v Bank of England (2006) 5 Costs LR 714 (Tomlinson J I am satisfied this is a proper case for the award of costs on an indemnity basis. The Claimant’s case was entirely devoid of merit. She complained about being defamed by imputations of dishonesty arising from an email. Her own evidence demonstrated repeated dishonest behaviour by her: for example, she readily admitted falsifying a court email and she also put into evidence recordings in which she lied repeatedly to hospital staff on the phone whilst covertly recording them. Factor (5) of Tomlinson J’s factors therefore applies: ‘where a claim is speculative, weak, opportunistic or thin, a claimant who chooses to pusue it is taking a high risk and can expect to pay indemnity costs it if fails. Moreover, the Claimant advanced a case that she was the victim of a ‘Jewish conspiracy’. That allegation was baseless. Factor 8(a) is therefore also relevant: ‘where the claimant advances and aggressively pursues serious and wide-ranging allegations of dishonesty or impropriety over an extended period of time.’

4. An appeal would have no prospects of success and there is no other compelling reason for an appeal to be heard.

Dated this 26th July 2019

 

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