I want to sue the owner of a company for Libel.

I work for a large shipping company in customer service. A business put a sign on there back delivery window It read:  if your name is *** and you work for *** in Clearwater then you are Not smarter than a 5th grader. An employee that made a delivery there sent me the text picture of this sign after he texted other employees. I am the supervisor for all of these drivers.

Asked on June 12, 2009 under Personal Injury, Florida

Answers:

J.V., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The First Amendment to the Constitution provides a broad right of freedom of speech. However, if a false statement has been made about you, you may have a claim for defamation. Generally, defamation consists of: (1) a false statement of fact about another; (2) an unprivileged publication of that statement to a third party; (3) some degree of fault, depending on the type of case; and (4) some harm or damage.

it must be proven that the false statement was made without reasonable care as to whether the statement was true or false. There are a number of defenses available in a defamation action. Of course, if a statement is true, there can be no action for defamation. Truth is a complete defense. Additionally, if the statement is an expression of an opinion as opposed to a statement of fact, there can be no action for defamation. We do not impose liability in this country for expressions of opinion. However, whether a statement will be deemed to be an expression of opinion as opposed to a statement of fact is not always an easy question to answer. 

An action for libel or slander must be brought within two years of the time the statements were made. If you wait beyond this two year period, any lawsuit will be barred. Libel and slander cases are often very complicated. Before you decide to take any action in a libel or slander case, you should consult with an Pinellas County, Florida injury attorney. A personal injury attorney can help you decide whether you have a case and advise you regarding the time and expense involved in bringing this type of action.


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