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E. Hulton & Co. v. Jones

Court of Appeal
[1910] A.C. 20


E. Hulton & Co. (Hulton) (defendant) operated a newspaper in England. Thomas Artemus Jones (Jones) (plaintiff) allegedly contributed signed articles to the paper. One day, Hulton ran an article by its Paris correspondent that mentioned a person named “Artemus Jones” and accused that person of cheating on his wife with another woman. Jones brought suit for defamation against Hulton. At trial, Hulton stated it had never heard of Jones and had used the name “Artemus Jones” as a fictitious name. Jones accepted this contention as true. However, he argued Hulton was still liable for defamation because it issued a statement that could be interpreted as true and harmful to Jones. In fact, Jones produced several witnesses who said they believed the article was referring to him. The jury granted Jones damages. The court of appeal affirmed, and on appeal, the House of Lords affirmed.

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