Carey v Independent Newspapers (Ireland) Ltd

JurisdictionIreland
CourtHigh Court
JudgeMr. Justice Gilligan
Judgment Date07 August 2003
Neutral Citation[2003] IEHC 67
Date07 August 2003
Docket Number[2000 No.

[2003] IEHC 67

THE HIGH COURT

9237P/2000
CAREY v. INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS (IRL) LTD
Between/
MARIEAD CAREY
Plaintiff

and

INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS(IRELAND)LTD.
Defendants

Citations:

HADLEY V BAXENDALE 1845 9 EX 341

MCDERMOTT CONTRACT LAW 2001 269

SCALES V SCANLAN 1843 6 ILRCL 432

MURPHY V HENNESSEY 1897 31 ILT 404

GILL V CAPE CONTRACTS LTD 1985 ILR 49

DICK BENTLEY PRODUCTIONS LTD V SMITH 1965 2 AER 65

STAFFORD V MAHONY SMITH PALMER 1980 ILRM 53

O'DONNELL & CO V TRUCK & MACNINERY SALES LTD 1998 4 IR 191

SECURITIES TRUST LTD V MOORE & ALEXANDER LTD 1964 IR 417

ESSO PETROLEUM V MARDON 1976 QB 801

FORSHALL V WALSH UNREP SHANLEY 18.6.1997 1998/6/1685

KING V AER LINGUS PLC 2002 3 IR 481

HAGEN & ORS V ICI CHEMICALS 2002 IRLR 31

REDGRAVE V HURD 1881 20 CHD 1

NOCTON V ASHBURTON 1914 AC 932

STROVER V HARRINGTON 1988 CH 390

GRUBB THE LAW OF CONTRACT 2003 2ED 596

SMITH V BUSH 1990 1 AC 831

HORRY V TATE & LYLE REFINERIES LTD 1982 2 LLOYDS 416

DONNELLAN V DUNGOYNE LTD 1995 1 ILRM 388

EDGINGTON V FITZMAURICE 1885 29 CHD 459

NORTHERN BANK FINANCE V CHARLTON 1979 IR 149

ADDIS V GRAMOPHONE CO LTD 1909 AC 488

LIVINGSTONE V RAWYARDS COAL CO 1880 5 AC 25

FOLEY V THERMOCEMENT PRODUCTS LTD 1954 90 ILTR 92

MCANARNEY V HANRAHAN 1993 3 IR 492

MCGREGOR ON DAMAGES 15ED PARA 17.18 17.24 19.39

HEDLEY BYRNE V HELLER 1964 AC 465

KENNEDY V ALLIED IRISH BANKS PLC 1998 2 IR 48

HENDERSON V MERRETT SYNDICATES LTD 1995 2 AC 145

CENTRAL TRUST CO V RAFUSE 1986 31 DLR 481

BRYAN V MALONEY 1995 182 CLR 609

ALUMINIUM PRODUCTS (QUEENSLAND) PTY LTD V HILL 1981 QD R 33

MACPHERSON & KELLY V KEVIN J PRUNTY & ASSOCIATES 1983 1 VR 573

ROWLANDS V COLLOW 1992 1 NZLR 178

FLEMING LAW OF TORTS 8ED 1992 187

PROSSER & KEETON LAW OF TORTS (1984) 444

GREHAN V NORTH EASTERN HEALTH BOARD 1989 IR 422

WARREN V SUPER DRUG MARKETS LTD 1965 54 DLR 183

SPEAKMAN V CALGARY 1908 9 WLR 264

FORDE EMPLOYMENT LAW 2ED 166

LYONS V M F KENT & CO INTL 1996 ELR 103

MCDONALD V MIN EDUCATION 1940 IR 316

CARVILL V IRISH INDUSTRIAL BANK 1968 IR 325

TIERNEY V IRISH MEAT PACKERS 1989 ILT 5

ROBINSON V CORNEILL UNREP KEANE 10.4.1992 1992/9/2721

LOWE V WALTER 1892 8 TLR 358

BOWMAN V HOLTEN PRESS LTD 1952 2 AER 1121

O'REILLY V IRISH PRESS 1937 71 ILTR 194

O'CONNELL V GAELIC ECHO LTD 1958 92 ILTR 156

GEORGE EDWARDES (DALY'S THEATRE) LTD V COMBER 1926 42 TLR 247

GRUNDY V SUN PRINTING & PUBLISHING ASSOCIATION 1916 33 TLR 77

FOX-BOURNE V VERNON & CO 1894 10 TLR 647

CHAMBERLAIN V BENNETT 1892 8 TLR 234

KINLEN V ULSTER BANK LTD 1928 IR 171

BREEN V COOPER IR 3 CL 621

HAMLIN V GREAT NORTHERN RAILWAY 1 H&N 8

MALIK V BANK OF CREDIT & COMMERCE INTERNATIONAL (BCCI ) 1998 AC 20 1997 3 AER 1

COX V PHILLIPS INDUSTRIES LTD 1976 1 WLR 638

BLISS V SOUTH EAST THAMES REGIONAL HEALTH AUTHORITY 1987 1 ICR 700

JOHNSON V UNISYS LTD 2001 2 AER 801

BOARDMAN V COPELAND CO COUNCIL UNREP CA 13.6.2002

STUART V ARMOURGUARD SECURITY 1996 1 NZLR 484

Synopsis:

EMPLOYMENT

Termination

Damages - Negligent misstatement - Breach of warranty - Injury to reputation (2000/9237P - Gilligan J - 7/8/2003)

Carey v Independent Newspapers - [2004] 3 IR 52

The plaintiff was a journalist who left her employment with Ireland on Sunday and entered into employment with the Evening Herald. The plaintiff had recently had a child and contended that she had only taken the job with the Evening Herald because of assurances she had been given in relation to her working hours. Shortly after she had commenced employment it became clear that the Evening Herald wanted her to work different hours and her employment came to an end. She claimed damages for breach of contract and! or wrongful dismissal and general damages for negligent misstatement.

Held by Gilligan J. in awarding the plaintiff Eur52,266 damages that the plaintiff was entitled to succeed in her claim. The defendants were guilty of negligent misstatement and breach of warranty. The plaintiff was entitled to six months' notice of termination of her employment with the Evening Herald and two years net loss of earnings from the plaintiffs position with Ireland on Sunday less remuneration derived from other sources.

1

Mr. Justice Gilligan delivered on the 7th day of August 2003.

2

The plaintiff in these proceedings is a journalist by occupation and a married lady. She appears to have been a very distinguished journalist joining Ireland on Sunday in September, 1997 and rising to be the political editor correspondent earning approximately £35,000 (€44,440.00) per annum on a contractual basis in February, 1999. While with Ireland on Sunday she worked Tuesday through Saturday, commencing at 10 a.m. in the morning and concluding on Saturday with the 4 p.m. deadline for the following day's edition and this arrangement dovetailed perfectly with the plaintiff's domestic responsibilities in respect of her son, Eamon, who was born on the 20 th November, 1998.

The Facts
3

The plaintiff was contacted by Paul Drury who was then the editor of the Evening Herald newspaper at some time in late September, 1999, with a view to ascertaining if she would be interested in taking up a position as political correspondent with the Evening Herald. A meeting was arranged at the Palace Bar. The plaintiff says she made it clear to Mr. Drury that it would be impossible for her to work in the early mornings at the offices of the Evening Herald by reason of the fact that she could not get a child minder and that she would have to work from home for the first edition. The proposed salary was also discussed. Mr. Drury indicated to her that he would have to go back to discuss the matter with Mr. Carlisle, Mr. Dunne and Mr. Roche.

4

From his perspective, Paul Drury gave evidence that the previous political correspondent with the Evening Herald had resigned and the paper was being relaunched and in his professional opinion it was essential to get a senior responsible journalist to fill the vacancy as political correspondent as quickly as possible. He had known the plaintiff who had worked on occasion for him on a free-lance basis and knew that she was a self starter. He referred to the fact that she had been responsible for the breaking of some; major stories such as the child organ retention scandal and he saw her as particularly suitable for the proposed new agenda for the Evening Herald. When he went to the first meeting with the plaintiff at the Palace Bar he was of the mind that the paper had a serious weakness without a political correspondent and he wanted to know if Mairead Carey, the plaintiff, was interested in the proposed position. At first she appeared to him to be a little hesitant and she referred to the fact that her job was going well with Ireland on Sunday. This appears to be an important factor because there is no suggestion whatsoever that prior to this meeting, the plaintiff had any plans to leave her existing well paid position. Mr. Drury says that he outlined the plan for the Evening Herald to the plaintiff and that they were going to aim at the mid-market as he wanted a heavyweight political correspondent with a Dublin focus. He accepts that she raised the issue of not being able to work in the early hours in the office as it was not practical for her and she would have to cover the morning session from her home.

5

He accepts that there was a discussion as regards salary and that it was the plaintiff who suggested a figure and when this initial meeting concluded there were two issues to be clarified, one being salary and the other being the plaintiff working from home in the early hours. He accepts that he indicated that he would have to talk to his colleagues, Mr. Dunne, Mr. Roche and possibly Mr. Carlisle but he is not sure if he ever actually discussed the situation with the latter. His concern was that he wanted a candidate found as quickly as possible and if necessary he was going to recommend that the additional money as required be forthcoming. He also wanted approval for the slightly unusual arrangement of the plaintiff working from home for the first edition shift.

6

The subsequent events appear to me to be of significant importance. Mr. Drury did go back and he discussed the matter with Mr. Michael Roche who was the Group Managing Editor of the Independent Group Newspapers. It is of particular significance that when Mr. Drury discussed the matter with Mr. Roche he had serious reservations as regards the plaintiff working from home. He was aware that the plaintiff had some difficulty but he took the view that if it suited Mr. Drury and his team and if he believed it workable, he was happy to go along with it.

7

However, Mr. Roche was reluctant to confirm the issue of working from home in writing as he indicated to Mr. Drury that the group may want to review this issue in. the future and I am left with the distinct impression that Mr. Roche was not at all happy about the arrangement and in this regard I am satisfied that Mr. Drury never advised Ms. Carey that Mr. Roche had a serious concern about the proposed working arrangements.

8

Mr. Drury also had a previous conversation with Mr. Dunne in his capacity as Group News Editor for the Evening Herald and the Irish Independent and Mr. Dunne did not have any reservations about the agreed working arrangements, provided they worked out. He did become aware of Mr. Roche's reservations and he took the view that if the system as arranged worked, it would be okay but that it was a matter for the editor and it was his responsibility to make it work.

9

There were apparently a number of other candidates but the plaintiff was the desired candidate and Mr. Drury discussed the matter with Mr. Paul. Dunne ana got good reports in relation to the plaintiff.

10

Mr. Drury also obtained approval for the plaintiff's salary arrangements in the sum of IR£45,000 (€57,138.21) and there were then a number...

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