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News International Faces At Least Sixty Phone Hacking Claims, With More To Come

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RUPERT MURDOCH
AP
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News Corp.'s British subsidiary is facing more than sixty claims on phone hacking at News of the World, with thirteen claims filed against the company on Monday, according to the Guardian.

The new claims bring the lawsuits filed in just the past week to twenty-four. The new claimants include Paul Dadge, who was photographed helping the victims of London's 7/7 terrorist bombings, and Sara Payne, the mother of a murdered girl, who worked closely with the British tabloid to campaign for new legislation against sex offenders.

The reason for the recent flurry, according to the Guardian, is a January trial that will set a precedent for how much News International should pay phone hacking victims.

The company has £20 million set aside to settle phone hacking cases, but Mark Lewis, a lawyer for some of the victims, predicts that even £100 million would be "serious underestimate."

These sixty lawsuits may be just the tip of the iceberg, as investigations continue and more victims are notified. Lewis told Bloomberg News that police have only notified 200 out of Glenn Mulcaire's 4,000 potential targets so far. "He was just one agent used by one paper," he said. "When the final tally takes place, we will see thousands of claims and more than one paper."

Other claimants include Jude Law, Princess Diana's former butler and Shaun Russell, the father of a girl who survived a murder attempt by hammer. In a twist, Sara Payne found out that the British tabloid may have tried to hack the very phone that then-editor Rebekah Brooks gave to her.

The Guardian reports that most of the lawsuits have been filed against both News Corp.'s British subsidiary and Glenn Mulcaire, the private investigator hired to intercept people's voicemails. It was Mulcaire who possessed dozens of notebooks containing cell phone numbers and access codes. Ironically, Mulcaire also sued Rupert Murdoch's company to keep paying his legal fees.

One of the lawsuits also named Neville Thurlbeck, who was one of the first News of the World employees to go to jail over phone hacking. He has also sued his former employer over unfair dismissal.

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