Resolution Statement: Complaint 02679-15 McIntosh v Scottish Daily Star
Summary of complaint
1. Andrew McIntosh complained to the Independent Press Standards Organisation that the Scottish Daily Star had published an article, headlined “Dentist wins £50k for patient’s false claims”, on 24 February 2015, which raised a breach of Clause 1 (Accuracy), Clause 2 (Opportunity to reply) and Clause 3 (Privacy) of the Editors’ Code of Practice.
2. The complainant was the patient referred to in the article, and he said that the dentist had not won his defamation case; a Minute of Abandonment had been granted in April 2014, and the dentist had been liable to Mr McIntosh for expenses.
3. The newspaper said that the story had been provided by a normally reliable freelance journalist, who had based the article on information he had received from the court. It later transpired that the information had been completely inaccurate, and the newspaper had published a correction prior to the complaint being referred to the newspaper by IPSO.
Relevant Code Provisions
4. Clause 1 (Accuracy)
i) The press must take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information, including pictures.
ii) A significant inaccuracy, misleading statement or distortion once recognised must be corrected, promptly and with due prominence, and – where appropriate – an apology published.
Clause 2 (Opportunity to reply)
A fair opportunity for reply to inaccuracies must be given when reasonably called for.
Clause 3 (Privacy)
i) Everyone is entitled for respect to his or her private and family life, home, health and correspondence, including digital communications.
5. The complaint was not resolved through direct correspondence between the parties. IPSO therefore instigated an investigation into the matter.
6. The newspaper apologised for the error, and offered to make a goodwill payment to the complainant.
7. The complainant said that the payment would resolve the matter to his satisfaction.
8. As the complaint was successfully mediated, the Complaints Committee did not make a determination as to whether there had been any breach of the Code.
Date complaint received: 15/04/2015Date complaint concluded by IPSO: 06/05/2015 Back to ruling listing