Creative Resins Libel Suit Against Glasslam Europe
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).
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
"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.