Do I have legal grounds if a co-worker planted false evidence of an affair?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Do I have legal grounds if a co-worker planted false evidence of an affair?

I was working out of town when a co-worker planted a pair of women’s underwear in the pocket of my work pants. My wife found them doing laundry and now thinks that I’m having an affair.

Asked on October 28, 2016 under Personal Injury, Virginia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Legal grounds to do what? To sue your co-worker? Unfortunately, there really is no legal claim or cause of action that covers this. The closed would be defamation--the claim that your reputation was damaged by a false factual statement or allegation made by another--but defamation really cover statements (whether written or oral), not an action like this; to sue under it, you'd have to get a court to agree to broaden the definition of defamation, which is an uphill battle. Furthermore, there is no concrete, quantifiable loss described in your question, just that your wife now thinks you are having an affair, but the law really doesn't have a remedy for or provide compensation for non-quantifiable losses. While the fact that you are upset is very understandable, it does not appear that you have any sort of good claim or case you could make out.

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 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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