UK: Important judgment on de minimis threshold in data protection compensation claims – Wolfe -v- Veale

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Authors: David Cook, Benjamin Fellows

As organisations face an ever increasing volume of civil claims seeking damages for trivial infringements of data protection law, the High Court in Wolfe & Others -v- Veale Wasbrough Vizards LLP [2021] EWHC 2809 (QB) has provided a welcome judgment dismissing such a claim in circumstances where it was implausible that any distress had been suffered.

Background

The claim related to a single email with attachments sent by the Defendant law firm on 17 July 2019. The Defendant represented a school to which the first two Claimants owed a sum of money, and the school had instructed the Defendant to write to them with a demand for payment. The email consisted of a letter and a copy of the statement of account. Due to an error by a Defendant employee, the email was sent to the wrong person. That person responded promptly indicating that they thought the email was not intended for them and thereafter confirmed its deletion.

The Claim

The Claimants

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