What are my rights if an apartment manager has made false claims about me using drugs?

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What are my rights if an apartment manager has made false claims about me using drugs?

I received a phone call from my landlord stating my building superintendent told him I was using Marijuana. I do not use any type of substance. I am a medical professional, very happy where I live and feel violated that false information was relayed to my landlord. How do I stop such harassment?

Asked on April 17, 2012 under Real Estate Law, New York

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You can sue the building superintendent for defamation.  Defamation is a false statement made with knowledge of its falsity communicated to a third party who recognizes the defamatory content and the statement is injurious to your reputation.  Each repetition of the defamatory statement is actionable in a lawsuit for defamation.

Slander is spoken defamation.  Libel is written defamation.

The false statement about you using marijuana is clearly defamatory and injurious to your reputation.  Since you are a medical professional, the slanderous statement is incompatible with your profession.  This means you do not have to prove pecuniary loss to obtain damages for slander.  Your damages (the amount of compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit) for defamation would include mental distress, physical illness, medical expense, loss of friends and associates.


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