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UKSolicitorJA, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 4312
Experience:  English solicitor with over 12 years experience
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Hello, We publish a magazine in the horticultural sector. We

Customer Question

We publish a magazine in the horticultural sector.
We have had a lab do some independent tests on several products from different brands (a little like which magazine would).
We have shown the participating companies the results, however one is threatening legal action if we publish the results from their product.
Please can you advise me if we can legally publish these results, do they have a case if they want to sue.
Please advise
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  UKSolicitorJA replied 3 years ago.

I do not see what grounds they would have to sue as you may publish any factual information about their products as long as the information is not incorrect.

Hope this helps
Customer: replied 3 years ago.



My issue is what relates to 'factual information'.


We have tested the products under specific European specifications, however they say that they test their products under different specifications, therefore, although our information is factual under one set of specifications, the results of our tests do differ from their own, and this may lead to misinterpretation.


We will be specifying the methods used in our articles, how we tested the products.


I am concerned there maybe grey areas due to the interpretation of the results relating to the different available methods of testing these particular types of products.




Expert:  UKSolicitorJA replied 3 years ago.
Thank you.

In that case you may want to put a hold on publishing this particular company's information until you are further able to verify that the specifications that you have used for your test are the correct ones.

May I help further?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Are there any such instances, legal cases which we can refer to. I was hoping for more specific / detailed answers than this.

Expert:  UKSolicitorJA replied 3 years ago.
It is recognised in law that companies have reputations which could be damaged by defamatory statements.

See the case of South Hetton Coal Co v N.E. News [1894] 1 QB 133; D&L Caterers Ltd v D’Ajou [1945] KB 364 CA). Such Companies can, therefore, sue for defamation and recover damages.

You may read more about it here

This is a very complex area of law and we can only give general guidance here.

If your publication is based on the wrong tests, then you could be effectively defaming the company.

Hope this explains the legal position.