I would like to know if I can legally stop a group of people from slandering me and my business?

I have a group of people who have launched a “campaign” of lies against me and my small business. They are trying to ruin my brand’s reputation and they are succeeding. I have an on-line custom apparel company and I also have (or had) around 75 on-line retailers who sold my products on their websites as well. These people are e-mailing my retailers telling them that I am a fraudulent business, running a scam on my customers, stealing money from people, not sending product, etc. They are telling my retailers that they should drop me as a vendor and stop doing business with me. Many of my retailers have since stopped doing business with me and have removed my products from their websites. Almost all of my retailers have e-mailed me over the last few days to confirm that they have received these e-mails. Do I have any legal recourse that I can use to stop these people from doing this? Isn’t it slander to lie about someone or their business? It is costing me sales and hurting my business financially.

Asked on October 29, 2011 under Personal Injury, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You may well have recourse.

Defamation is the public making (so sending emails to 3rd parties counts) of untrue factual assertions (such as claim that you steal, that you don't send product once its been ordered, etc.) that damage a person's or business's reputation and/or make others not want to do business with them. Assuming that factual statements you complain of are untrue (note: opinions are not actionable--someone could say that your clothing is


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