If a person spreads or attempts to spread false information about you in order to cause you harm financially and emotionally what law covers this?

And would it apply if you hold a public office and it’s an employee that’s spreading the false information? Would this be criminal coercion?

Asked on September 8, 2012 under Personal Injury, Kentucky


Leigh Anne Timiney / Timiney Law Firm

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

This is called defamation.  It is  a civil matter.  It is not criminal.  In order to prove a defamation case, the person bringing the claim must show that another individual made false statements about them to a third party.  They also must show that the person making the false statement knew the statement was false when they made it.  Finally, you must show that you actually did suffer economic or monetary damage solely and directly as a result of the false statement.  This is a hard burden to prove.  Additionally, individual who are in the public eye are afforded less protection against defamation that private individuals are.  Defamation cases are difficult to pursue and prove and there can be significant out of pocket costs to the person bringing the claim.  

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