What Exactly Is Defamation?

When someone makes a statement as if it were true but is actually false and it gives a negative impression of a person or company, it can be seen as defamation. There are several types of defamation including slander, which is when the statements are made using spoken words, sign language, or other gestures, and libel, which is when the statement is made using the written word.

Challenges of a Defamation Case

If another party has made negative statements about you or your company, and they are having an undesirable impact on your business, it may be possible to bring a defamation case against that party. There are some challenges that need to be overcome in order to win this type of case. Some of the most significant challenges include the following:

  • Intended as Truth – The negative statement was intended to be taken as truth, and not a joke, parody, or otherwise not to be taken seriously.
  • Damaging – The negative statement needs to have caused your business some type of harm. This could be harmful to sales, reputation, helping the competition, or any number of things.
  • Public Statement – It is necessary to prove that the negative statement was made to people other than the party being defamed.
  • Knowledge of it Being False – The party who made the statement needs to have known that it was false (or should have known). It is not defamation to simply make a mistake in a statement.

Example of Defamation

There have been some very significant cases of defamation that have won people and companies millions of dollars. One of the most famous cases of defamation was brought by the professional wrestler turned politician, Jesse Ventura. He won more than $1.8 million in a case against Chris Kyle, the former Navy SEAL and author of the book, “American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in US Military History.” In the book, Kyle claimed that he got in a confrontation with Mr. Ventura at a bar, and punched him. Even though Mr. Ventura was not named in the book, Kyle said that it was about him in an interview. Ventura filed the defamation suit against Kyle to clear his name and seek damages for the untruths that were told about him.

Defending Your Business

If you believe you or your business may be the victim of defamation, it is important to act quickly, and proceed with your case properly. Contact Annette Sanchez Law to discuss your situation, and determine if filing a lawsuit is the right course of action.


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