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Editorial

Kochański Zięba & Partners wins a case for Ringier Axel Springer Polska (RASP) against Kata

On 26 June 2015, the Regional Court in Warsaw dismissed in its entirety a claim filed by Katarzyna Tusk against Ringier Axel Springer Polska (RASP) represented by Kochański Zięba Rapala & Partners Law Firm.

Katarzyna Tusk represented by Roman Giertych brought an action against RASP, the publisher of fakt.pl, seeking the publication of a statement containing an apology and damages of PLN 50,000. The claim was based on an article entitled "They called her a whore. And Tusk says ‘thank you’" preceded by a superscription "Drama of Kasia Tusk", as published on the fakt.pl internet portal on 16 April 2014. According to the Plaintiff, only the title of the article violated her personal interests because, to her belief, it contained suggestions and inaccurate information stating that her father Donald Tusk had allegedly thanked internet users for using a four-letter word to describe her.

During the proceedings RASP sought to demonstrate the accuracy of information contained in the article and the appropriateness of the factual basis for any assessment contained therein. In addition, RASP stated that the disputed title of the article consisted of three sentences, with the first being an overall assessment of the events described in the statement of claim and two other accurate sentences, the accuracy of which was not disputed. In fact, the parties were in dispute only as to whether it was lawful for the publisher to put together, in an unconventional manner, two accurate pieces of information in a press title and to form an opinion.

In oral reasoning for the Judgment, the Regional Court held that the Plaintiff failed to demonstrate that her personal interests had been violated and thus it could not consider her personal interests to have been unlawfully violated. The wording of the title of the article at issue was “unfortunate”. However, it consisted of a single sentence expressing an opinion and two accurate sentences. In the Court’s opinion, the assertion alleging that Donald Tusk thanked internet users for describing his daughter using a four-letter word was very far-fetched. The Court also held that the overall content of the article was positive and did not violate the personal interests of either the Plaintiff or her close relatives. The Judgment has not become final yet.

RASP was represented by advocate Anna Cichońska and advocate Tobiasz Szychowski, partners from Kochański Zięba Rapala & Partners Law Firm.

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