Creative Resins Libel Suit Against Glasslam Europe Finished

The libel suit Creative Resins brought against Glasslam Europe and its primary shareholder Stephen Howes came to a close in December with Glasslam Europe Limited settling out of court prior to the case going before a judge. The third defendant named on the case, Stephen Howes, chose not to settle the case, and a hearing was held in the United Kingdom on December 1 during which Justice Eady ultimately ruled in favor of Creative Resins for 15,000 ($29,267.58 USD).

The suit, originally filed in 2004, was brought against Glasslam Europe, Donne Mileham & Haddock, a firm of attorneys representing Glasslam, and Howes for libel stemming from incidents relating to the defendants' publication of information that Creative Resins felt was detrimental to its business, including the claim that Glasslam had served Creative Resins "with a writ claiming copyright infringement, theft of intellectual property and unfair business practices" and that Creative Resins refused to respond to the court order. Glasslam Europe and Creative Resins reached an agreement that included Glasslam's payment of 5,000 ($9,755.86 USD) in damages and Creative Resins' agreement not to pursue the matter further.

Justice Eady wrote in his findings that "[a]ll that was ever 'served' on the Claimant company was a letter before action in accordance with German procedure" and that nothing further-including a court order-had been filed against Creative Resins. He further wrote that he saw "no basis for publication on the widespread scale which took place which could fall within any doctrine of qualified privilege," the argument made in defense of the actions taken that led to the suit.

"It is inconceivable that the Third Defendant was unaware of the falsity and the publication of those words, therefore, took place cynically and dishonestly," Eady ruled. He added, "The important point is to make it clear that the Claimant is entitled to vindication," and awarded a sum of 15,000 in general damages to be paid by Howes to Creative Resins.

Howes elected not to have representation at the hearing and did not attend. He did, however, submit a letter to the solicitor in the case that Eady described as containing "rather insulting terms not only to the people behind Creative Resins but also insulting to the solicitor."

Representatives from Creative Resins shared their thoughts on the ruling with USGNN.

"We are obviously very pleased by the outcome of the litigation against Glasslam Europe and Steve Howes. This litigation had been going on for over two years. We had to be tenacious to achieve everything we had set out to achieve - an apology in 'open court,' our costs on an indemnity basis and High Court injunctions against Glasslam Europe and Mr. Howes," said Patrick Sumner, managing director of Creative Resins International Ltd., via email today.

"We had tried to settle the litigation at an early stage and made several attempts as the litigation progressed. Those attempts were rebuffed until shortly before trial when Glasslam Europe realized that they would lose and that settlement was the only sensible option for them," Sumner continued. "Unfortunately Glasslam Europe has been placed in the hands of a liquidator, who will gather in the assets of the company and distribute them to creditors. Glasslam Europe was not in good financial shape before the costs and damages order was made against them, but this may have been the last straw. Of course, by choosing to go into liquidation, Glasslam Europe may avoid paying much of the costs and damages that are due to Creative Resins. We are considering a separate action against [Mr.] Howes in the USA."

Neither representatives for Glasslam Europe nor Howes responded to requests for comment.

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