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Rosanna Davison awarded €80,000 in Ryanair defamation case

After deliberating for three hours, the jury decided that model and former Miss World had been defamed in a press release by the airline.

Rosanna Davison photographed leaving the High Court on 20 May 2011.
Rosanna Davison photographed leaving the High Court on 20 May 2011.
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

Updated at 19:20

A HIGH COURT JURY HAS awarded €80,000 to former Miss World Rosanna Davison in her legal action against Ryanair after finding that the airline had defamed her in a press release.

Davison, 27, had claimed she was defamed in a Ryanair press release which she said portrayed her as a racist, jealous and narrow-minded.

The model had commented on Ryanair’s calendar for 2009 saying that if she had organised it, she would have made sure there was an Irish model in it. The airline subsequently issued a press release responding to her comments.

Ryanair defended the press release, saying that it was commenting on Davison’s words and not on Davison herself.

The jury of eight men and four women returned their verdict just before 6pm this evening after deliberating for about three hours, according to RTÉ’s Six One News. The judge had said they could consider communication issued between the airline and Davison after she initially complained about the press release when deliberating their verdict and considering aggravated damages.

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She was awarded €40,000 compensation and another €40,000 in aggravated damages.

Ryanair issued a statement after the damages were awarded saying that given the cost of a Supreme Court appeal was higher than the €40,000 awarded to Davison for damages to her reputation, “we have decided not to bother appealing as we are very happy with this outcome”.

Read more about the verdict on RTE.ie >

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