Should you sue for defamation or would it be a waste of time and money?
Most people don’t like to hear other people run their hard earned name and reputation through the mud. This is especially true when it’s done publicly, but when should a person fight the defamation and when are they better off letting the matter go?
Understanding what defamation is and the requirements for making defamation claims can make the decision easier.
There are two types of defamation. Libel is written defamation and slander is spoken defamation.
Under New York Law, a party making a claim for defamation must prove that there was a false assertion of fact. A claim would likely not be successful if it was a mere expression of opinion.
The false assertion of fact must also cause the plaintiff to sustain damages or injuries. If the plaintiff does not sustain an damages or injuries then even if they can prove defamation, their case would be worthless. The plaintiff must suffer damages to their reputation or financial losses. This can happen in private matters. If a defendant commits slander or libel in private and it does not cause the plaintiff to suffer any financial or business injury, then suing them will not have any benefits. In fact, it may be detrimental to the plaintiff, because they are then disclosing the private statements to the public, taking time away from their business, and incurring the attorney fees from the lawsuit.
Consult with an attorney about your particular case to learn more about your options. There are a few exceptions, such as privileged statements which are not considered defamatory. Additionally, statements about public figures have a much higher burden of proof. Send us a message if you’d like more details about defamation lawsuits in New York.
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