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

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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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 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.


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