Defamation of Character
A defamatory statement is a spoken, written or otherwise communicated statement about whether another person, which has a natural and direct tendency to harm a person's reputation.
The law of defamation is premised around the notion that one's reputation is invaluable!
The general rule is that spoken defamation is known as "slander," while written or printed defamation is known as "libel."
Defamation of Character arises when there are 4 elements present.
- The statement must be false;
- The statement must be unprivileged published to a 3rd party;
- The publisher of the statement is at fault;
- The statement is either actionable by itself (per se) or if not, a person must prove special damages.
The types of damages available in these kinds of cases include:
- General Damages - those that result naturally....
- Special Damages - those that need additional proof...
- Punitive Damages - those that will punish the wrongdoer...