Magazine editor Tom Rubython has launched a legal battle for libel damages against Formula One’s McLaren Group.
Rubython, who edits Business F1 magazine, is suing McLaren for £125,000 over a letter it sent to David Kramer at London company Process Services.
The legal action centres around a letter sent to Rubython by Process Services, and “published” by Kramer in July, according to a High Court writ.
The letter claimed that Rubython owed a large sum of money to McLaren Group and would be made bankrupt if the money was not paid, it is alleged.
Rubython argues that the claim was false, that he did not owe anything to McLaren Group, and was not facing bankruptcy proceedings.
The letter was not marked private and confidential, either on the envelope or on the letter itself, and was opened in the general course of mail opening, the writ says.
Rubython says the letter was seen by at least four other people, and heard about by at least six others.
Rubython has not engaged solicitors to bring his claim and is acting in person.
In October 2007, Charles Whiting – the race director of Formula One governing body FIA, accepted a public apology over articles in Business F1 magazine which wrongly alleged he had endangered the lives of the drivers through his actions.
A month earlier, Rubython’s company, Business F1 Magazine Ltd, went into receivership after a successful petition for winding-up, following an award for libel damages in a separate case.
Rubython had not paid Tony Purnell – a former team principal of the now defunct Jaguar Racing Formula One team – all of £75,000 libel damages plus legal costs he was ordered to pay after losing an appeal in April over a claim made against Business F1 magazine.
The monthly newsstand magazine continued to be published by a different company.