High Court orders Lidl to pay IFA’s legal costs regarding failed injunction application

Judge ruled Lidl had not met the statutory threshold for granting the injunction against IFA ads sought under the Defamation Act 2009

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22 June 2021 | 0

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The High Court has ruled that Lidl must pay the Irish Farmers’ Association’s legal costs, following the retailer’s failed attempt to stop the re-publication of allegedly defamatory IFA advertisements.

A fortnight ago, the court rejected an application by Lidl Gmbh for an order prohibiting re-publication pending a full hearing of the defamation claim before a jury.

Mr Justice Senan Allen ruled Lidl had not met the statutory threshold for granting the injunction sought under the Defamation Act 2009.

Lidl brought the case forward over two ads published in national media last March featuring claims about the use of Lidl’s own-brand names for some food products. The IFA ads claimed these were fictitious brands which misled customers about food origin.

However, the IFA denied defamation. The association opposed the injunction application and contested the meanings of the ads as interpreted by Lidl.

The Irish Times reports that on Friday, counsel for the IFA argued costs should be awarded against Lidl. Meanwhile, Lidl’s counsel asked the judge to make them “costs in the cause”. This would mean costs would be decided later, after the outcome of the defamation proceedings was known.

However the judge was satisfied he could determine the injunction costs at this stage. As the IFA had prevailed entirely, he ruled that he would award costs against Lidl.

 

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