What can I do if a former business associate is going around my town wrongfully saying that I almost ruined his business and hurting my business reputation?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What can I do if a former business associate is going around my town wrongfully saying that I almost ruined his business and hurting my business reputation?

The first time I heard about it, it didn’t bother me because I know the truth, but this morning he said it again to a colleague if mine. Can I sue?

Asked on May 19, 2014 under Personal Injury, Oregon

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

If it is an untrue statement of fact which damages your reputation, and not merely a negative opinion, then you may be able to sue for defamation--but it must be a factual statement, since people are entitled to their opinions, no matter how hurtful. So, for example:

* Saying that you lost a large account, when you did not; or failed to do a proposal by a deadline, when you did not; or you withdrew money from the business for personal use, when you did not--those would be untrue factual statements, and  so could  be defamation.

* But saying you were "a lousy" manager or "lazy" and that's  what hurt the business is an opinion, and is not something you could successfully sue over.


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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption