Corcoran v W. R Jacob and Company, Ltd

Judgment Date01 January 1945
Date01 January 1945
CourtSupreme Court
W. & R. Jacob and Company, Ltd.

Privilege - Malice - Honest belief - Witness's demeanour under cross-examination - Allegation of falsity of plaintiff's case -Obstinate adherence to belief in truth of defamatory words - Plaintiff assaulted shortly before slander -Whether evidence of malice - Jury awarding damages for slander and assault - Damages not segregated - Slander verdict reversed on appeal -Case remitted to High Court to assess damages for assault.

The defendants, a limited company engaged in the manufacture and sale of biscuits and confectionery, employed the plaintiff as a storekeeper. In the course of his work the plaintiff left the defendants' premises on messages for them, and, while so engaged, purchased a small shovel on his own behalf. On his return to the defendants' premises he carried the shovel inserted in his dungarees in such a way that only a portion of it was visible. At the request of N., a commissionaire in the defendants' employment, the plaintiff agreed to allow N. to search him as soon as certain other employees had left the immediate vicinity. N.then attempted to assist the plaintiff in removing the shovel from his person and, in doing so, pulled the plaintiff's clothes about violently and slightly damaged them. The plaintiff thereupon refused to allow N. to continue the search. Some time later N., in the presence of the plaintiff and another employee, made a verbal report to S., a welfare officer of the defendant company, in the course of which he stated: "It was a piece of copper ten or twelve inches long that [the plaintiff] had." In an action for slander and assault the plaintiff alleged that the words used imputed larceny to him. At the trial the plaintiff gave no evidence of malice, and on the trial Judge's ruling that the words were spoken on a privileged occasion, the plaintiff sought...

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3 cases
  • McNamara v Dunnes Stores (Parkway) Ltd
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 9 March 2017
    ...had stolen items from Dunnes Stores, the defendant cited the Supreme Court decision of Corcoran v. W. R. Jacob and Company Limited [1945] I.R. 446. The defendant contended that it was authority for the proposition that an honest belief by a witness called on behalf of the defendant that a l......
  • Nolan v Laurence Lounge t/a Grace's Pub
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 8 June 2018
    ...Maher S.C. contends that the correct statement of the law is that set out in Coleman and Corcoran v. W. & R. Jacob and Company Limited [1945] I.R. 446. He argues that consistent with the reasoning in McNamara, the court should disallow the defence of qualified privilege where the defendant ......
  • Kirkwood Hackett v Tierney
    • Ireland
    • Supreme Court
    • 1 January 1954
    ...JJ. (1) 3 Q. B. D. 237. (2) [1891] A. C. 73. (3) L. R. 4 Ex. 232. (4) 18 L. T. 527. (5) [1892] 1 Q. B. 431. (6) [1917] A. C. 309. (7) [1945] I. R. 446. (8) [1950] W. N. 83. (9) [1891] 2 Q. B. 341. (10) (1872) L. R. 4 P. C. 495. (11) [1917] S. C. 15. (12) (1858) E. B. & E. 346. (13) [1895] 2......

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