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Scottish Court of Session Decisions

You are here: BAILII >> Databases >> Scottish Court of Session Decisions >> Bruce v. JM Smith [1898] ScotCS CSIH_3 (23 December 1898)
Cite as: (1898) 6 SLT 247, [1898] ScotCS CSIH_3, (1898) 1 F 327

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23 December 1898

J. M. Smith, Limited.

Lord Justice-Clerk.—Undoubtedly this case is a peculiar one. It is not often that one sees an action raised on such grounds as we have here. It is difficult to see how these statements denouncing the buildings in such terms can be held not to be injurious to the pursuer if they are not true. If these statements are not true, in my opinion it is impossible to treat them as not entitling the pursuer to an issue.

On the whole matter, I think that the judgment of the Lord Ordinary is right, and that an issue ought to be allowed.

Lord Young concurred.

Lord Trayner.—I am not sure that the case is quite so clear, but I have read with care the Lord Ordinary's judgment, and I have heard nothing to induce me to think that he has not arrived at a right conclusion.

Lord Moncreiff.—I am also of opinion that an issue should be allowed. I should like to add that I think that we have here not merely slander of property, but slander of the pursuer himself in connection with his trade, if one may use that term as describing one of his means of making a livelihood, viz., the erection of dwelling-houses to sell or let. The remarks in the paragraph could scarcely fail to affect the pursuer injuriously.

On the suggestion of the Court the issue was altered to the following:—“It being admitted that the defenders printed and published in the Glasgow Evening News of 18th October 1897 a paragraph in the terms set forth in the schedule hereto annexed of and concerning a building in New City Road, Glasgow, belonging to the pursuer, whether the said paragraph was false and calumnious, to the loss, injury, and damage of the pursuer? Damages laid at £2000.”

1 F 327

The permission for BAILII to publish the text of this judgment
was granted by Scottish Council of Law Reporting and
the electronic version of the text was provided by Justis Publishing Ltd.
Their assistance is gratefully acknowledged.

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