What to do if a person makes a false statement to a large group of people which was an attack on my company’s reputation as well as my own?

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What to do if a person makes a false statement to a large group of people which was an attack on my company’s reputation as well as my own?

How can this man be made to stop? It is only a handful of members out if a membership of over 300 members. The community is made up of 1400 residents. I live in this active adult community and as we know words like these spread quickly and can effect my livelihood.

Asked on March 9, 2013 under Personal Injury, New Jersey

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If a false factual statement which damages your reputation, or that of your business, if made to other people, that may be defamation; if it is defamation, you could potentially sue for monetary compensation and/or for court order directing the person to stop doing this. Bear in mind that opinions, however, no matter how negative, are not defamation and are not actionable. For example:

* Person A says that your company bribed a local government official to get a contract, or violates safety regulations--assuming  you do not do these things, that is a false factual statement and may be defamation.

* Person A says that he thinks that you are untrustworthy and that your company's product or service is badly overpriced for what you provide--that is an opinion, and you can't do anything about it.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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