Defamation is the crime that occurs when one person speaks false of another and try to damage the honor and reputation of the person. Defamation is one of the strongest crimes in our society; it is offensive behavior that attack on human dignity and his public image.
Examples of defamation
In the workplace, a case of defamation would be among other colleagues that a person only got the promotion because he had romantic relationships with Company high official.
Another Defamation case is; if a person or news media says or writes something about you that tends to effect on your reputation, or that prevents people from associating with you, then defamation has occurred.
What damages can I recover in a defamation lawsuit?
If you have been defamed, you can file a lawsuit because of such defamation. The lawsuit can help you recover for the damages you have suffered due to the defamatory statement or comment.There are both actual damages, to recover the damage we need to punish the person who made the comment (and to serve as an example to prevent others from doing the same).
Actual damages in a character defamation case include, but are not limited to:
- Economic damages
- Damage to your reputation
- Mental anguish
Punitive damages are established to serve as an economic punishment. The purpose of such punishment is to incite the person not to do the harmful act again.
For other types of defamation you must prove some damage in fact to be able to recover it.
What defenses are available for someone who has been sued for defamation?
Ordinarily there are 3 possible defenses for a defendant who has been sued for libel (defamation published in a communication.)
This is a complete defense, but it can be difficult to prove.
A fair comment on a matter of public interest.
This defense applies only to “opinion”, as compared to a statement of fact. Usually the defendant needs to prove that the opinion was made honestly and the comments were not motivated by “malice” in fact (Malice means knowledge of the falsehood or negligence to discover the truth or falsity of the defamatory statement.)
The privilege can be absolute or qualified. Privilege usually exists when the speaker or writer has the duty to communicate to a specific person or persons on a given occasion. In some cases the privilege is qualified and may be lost if the publication is unnecessarily broad or is made with malice.
This is rarely available, since plaintiffs ordinarily do not agree with the publication of statements they find offensive.
What are the elements of a defamation claim?
The party making the defamation claim (claimant) ordinarily must prove four elements:
- a publication made by anyone other than the defamed person;
- a false statement of facts;
- that is considered as
- made to and concerning the claimant; Y
- tending to damage the plaintiff’s reputation.
- If the plaintiff is a public figure, he must also prove the existence of malice.