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Business Defamation and Damages

traverselegal - May 17, 2012 - Defamation Law

…we are all familiar with defamation which occurs against individuals, in other words, when an individual is subject to both a false and defamatory statement which is untrue.   But in the business world, business defamation occurs quite frequently among competitors and otherwise.  For instance, an advertisement that is both false and defamatory, that is suggestive of an individual’s business can be the subject of business defamation.  Also there are statements on the Internet, for instance, about a business either expressly or impliedly which can result in what we call business defamation, which are false and defaming statements which hurt someone’s business.

Welcome to Defamation Law Radio. Internet defamation of character is as easy to perpetuate as a blog post, Facebook update, rating submission, or a forum comment.  Your online reputation is measured by the websites return as Google search results.  Do you know what people are saying and writing about you?

Matt:  Hi, it’s Matt Plessner for Defamation Law Radio, and today we are talking about defamation that occurs in the business world.  To help us understand business defamation better we are speaking today with Attorney at Law, Mark Clark of the Traverse Legal Office in Traverse City Michigan.  Mark, how are you?

Mark:  I’m doing well Matt. How are you?

Matt:  I’m doing well.  Thank you very much.  Now, Mark, what exactly is business defamation?

Mark:  Well, Matt, we are all familiar with defamation which occurs against individuals, in other words, when an individual is subject to both a false and defamatory statement which is untrue.   But in the business world, business defamation occurs quite frequently among competitors and otherwise.  For instance, an advertisement that is both false and defamatory, that is suggestive of an individual’s business can be the subject of business defamation.  Also there are statements on the Internet, for instance, about a business either expressly or impliedly which can result in what we call business defamation, which are false and defaming statements which hurt someone’s business.

Matt:  What exactly do you need to legally prove business defamation?

Mark:  Well, what you need to do to prove business defamation is to establish that someone else has published both a false and a defamatory or a negative sounding statement against your business.  As I have indicated, this could be on the Internet, anywhere on the Internet on a posting board or otherwise, or it may occur as the result more commonly from an advertisement.

Matt:  Mark, how do you prove damages in a business defamation claim?

Mark:  Well oftentimes, if you are a business and you are the subject of a false and defamatory statement, it’s not always easy to establish an actual loss of business.  But in the case of business defamation in most states, including the state of Michigan, the courts don’t require you to prove an actual loss of business provided that the defamatory statement impugns your ability with respect to your business, your ability to do business, or your methods of doing business.  Court will award you damages for the loss of your business reputation alone without the necessity, in most cases, of showing actual loss.

Matt:  Well, thank you Mark for your time, and I hope you all have a better understanding of business defamation.

Mark:  Thanks very much, Matt.  The public can contact the attorneys at Traverse Legal for an assessment of their potential business defamation claim anytime.

Matt:  Well, thank you very much Mark, and I’m Matt Plessner.  Join us next time on Defamation Law Radio.

You’ve been listening to Defamation Law Radio, where defamation of character, slander, and libel are always the topic of the day.  Whether you are a defamation attorney or a client, we are the number one resource for all your defamation questions.

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