If a former subcontractor posted libelous and inaccurate information on a public forum about both my corporation and myself, can both the corporation and I sue?

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If a former subcontractor posted libelous and inaccurate information on a public forum about both my corporation and myself, can both the corporation and I sue?

To have this removed (it is affecting both business and personal reputation-financial and moral character), we need a court order. We contacted law enforcement due to his personal threats and implied physical harm. He knowingly posted malicious and untrue statements about both due to over a business dispute.

Asked on August 7, 2014 under Business Law, Minnesota

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Any person--and a corporation is a "person" for this purpose--may sue another who defames them. Thus, both you and your corporation could sue for damages and/or an injunction (court order)--this would be best accomplished by a single complaint (legal filing) with both of you as plaintiffs (parties suing). Bear in mind that not every negative statement is defamation: defamation is only negative untrue statements of fact; opinions, no matter how negative, or true facts are not defamation. To use an example: say your company paid the subcontractor for work done 45 days after submisssion of the invoice. According to the contractor agreement, you should have paid within 30 days; however, while you were a little late, you did pay before any legal action was taken against you.

If the subcontractor said you never paid him, or paid him only after having been sued, that may be defamation, since that is a false statement of fact.

If the subcontractor says that you were supposed to pay within 30 days, but did not pay until 45 days, that is not defamation--it is true.

If the subcontractor says you were "unacceptable slow" in paying, that is not defamation--that is an opinion, not a factual statement.


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