If one party publicly makes an untrue statement about another person, they could be guilty of Defamation if that statement leads right thinking members of society to think less of that individual.
There are two forms of Defamation – Libel and Slander. Where a statement is in written form, you may have a case for Libel. If the statement has been expressed verbally, you may have a case for Slander.
However, before you can commence legal action for Defamation you first need to demonstrate that the statement(s) made are untrue and said without any belief in its truth, that they identify/refer to you, and that they were ‘published’ to a third party by the ‘publisher’ in question. The definition of publisher is interpreted very widely to mean anyone who participated in the publication of the defamatory statement.
If you believe you have been a victim of Defamation, you may be able to take legal action to prevent any further defamatory comments and remove any permanent form of the statement. It may also be possible to make a claim to compensate you for any damage caused to your reputation/business, though proving damages can often be difficult.
There are however, strict time limits in place for bringing an action for Defamation. It is essential that action is taken promptly to prevent any further damage and loss being caused as quickly as possible.
If you have been affected by a false statement made by another and would like further information, please contact our team of specialist solicitors to see how we can help.
If you require further guidance on personal defamation, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0800 042 0700 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.