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Can I Sue for Slander?


Everyday many people gossip about others which involve telling untrue statements. But the question when does a little gossip becomes defamatory. It is usually when someone’s reputation is tarnished by the words said. A common type of defamation is slander. Slander is where someone makes untrue and unprivileged statement which is vocalized orally to one or more persons which ruin a person’s reputation. Slander like libel is actionable per se that is the false statements damages for such untrue statements are presumed and do not have to be proven (except in Arizona, Arkansas, Missouri, and Tennessee). Examples of slander include allegations of criminal activity, have a loathsome disease, statement made which causes injury in a person’s profession capacity and promiscuity as it result the public or a section of the public having a lower estimation of an individual.

Can I sue for Slander?

Any person who has suffered any harm from a false statement spoken by a person can sue the accused person for slander. However, the person has to show the following elements to be successful in a claim for slander:

  • That the person seeking relief must prove that there was a false statement made about them.
  • That the statement was made to a third party rather than a private conversation between the accuse person and the victim.
  • The statement was made with intent or the person who made the statement was negligent.
  • That there was damage suffered as a result of the false statement.

These are essential elements to prove any type of defamation inclusive of slander. Suing for any type of defamation is challenging because of a person’s right to freedom of expression. The right that an individual has to be balanced against the loss suffered in the form of injury to a person’s reputation. The court is not unwilling to settle a claim for slander in favor of you but you have to present a good case so it not denied because of a person’s fundamental right to freedom of expression. An attorney is needed to guide you for your claim to be successful.

Can I Sue a Doctor for Slander?

Slanderous words made by a doctor is still slander. Therefore, a person who has suffered damage to his/her reputation as a result of slander by a doctor can sue. A doctor is no different than an ordinary citizen and is liable for his/her defamatory comment. However, where a doctor makes an opinion regarding a patient on his file this is not defamation he is just honestly stating his opinion from consultations with the patient. For example if a doctor suspects that a patient is abusing drugs and makes a comment to the patient’s new doctor which adversely affects him getting other prescriptions medication that is not viewed as defamation.

Can I sue a Newspaper for Slander?

Slander is words spoken orally which affects a person’s reputation while libel is words printed or broadcasted by the media. Therefore, slander would not be an available option if the newspaper printed defamatory material against a person as that would be libel.

Can I Sue a police office for Slander?

A police officer can be sued for slander by an injured party is conditional. The most common way a police office may be liable for slander is where a false accusation was made regarding the commission of a crime which has ruined a person’s reputation where there was no probable cause for the accusation. The injured party can also make the officer’s employer vicariously liable by suing them also if the accusations were made in the course of his employment.

Can I sue a website for slander?

The website itself cannot be sued for slander as slander is words spoken orally while the words on a website would be libel. The person who owns and operate the site can be sued for libel. Additionally the person who made the comment on the website can also be sued. I recent case of McKee v. Laurion is a textbook online defamation of character case study where Dennis Laurion wrote comments on rate-your-doctor websites in April 2010, along with some letters about what he saw as poor bedside manner by his father’s neurologist. The doctor sued for defamation of character. Therefore you can sue for defamation in the form of libel or defamation of character in the form of libel.

A person can sue for slander once it is spoken orally and they suffered injury to their reputation as a result of the slander. It is important to know the difference between libel and slander as some form of defamation such as information found in newspapers and on websites is libel.