Irish mining boss who sleepwalked naked awarded 10m euros libel payout

Friday, November 19, 2010

MELBOURNE - A mining company boss in Ireland has been awarded 10 million euros in libel damages after the story of him sleepwalking naked into a female colleague’s bedroom appeared in a press release.

According to the Daily Mail, Donal Kinsella sued the mining company he worked for when his late-night wanderings on a company trip to Africa emerged.

Kinsella’s lawyers told the court how the story had gone round the world and life had been made a misery for the married father of six ever since the 2007 incident.

A jury of seven men and four women returned their record-breaking verdict after three hours of deliberations, making it the biggest libel award in Ireland’s history.

The jury’s decision left lawyers for mining company Kenmare Resources, headed by managing-director Michael Carvill, shocked, and they applied for an immediate stay on the award, branding it “off the Richter scale”.

Even Judge Eamon de Valera appeared to be stunned when the foreman for the 11 jurors handed the written decision to him, and he read the note carefully before addressing them.

“Correct me if I’m mistaken… but you have awarded compensatory damages of 9 million euros and aggravated damages of 1 million euros,” the Courier Mail quoted him as asking the jury.

The jurors replied that the extra 1 million euros was because they felt that the cross examination of Kinsella by the company’s lawyers was too aggressive, and they believe the barristers were trying too hard to discredit him.

The jury had unanimously decided that Kenmare’s press release, which did not detail the sleepwalking incident, had implied that Kinsella had “made inappropriate sexual advances to Deirdre Corcoran”.

They also concluded that the statement had been intended either to embarrass or put pressure on him in relation to his position in the company.

“I am vindicated. My name is cleared,” an elated Kinsella added. (ANI)

will not be displayed