If I was wrongfully accused by a loss prevention employee of stealing, what legal action can I take?

Asked on June 2, 2012 under Personal Injury, Maryland


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If this person stated to other people--not just to you--that you stole when you did not, they may have defamed you, or made an untrue statement of fact which could damage your reputation to third parties. If you suffer some injury or loss due to this--for example, you can show it may harm your career--you may be able to sue them for compensation, though without some injury or loss, it is probably not worth taking action. (The U.S. legal system, with few exceptions which would almost certainly not apply here, only provides compensation for actual injury or economic loss.)

If the statement was made only to you, there is no legal recourse. The law does not prevent anyone from saying essentially anything they want directly to a person.

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