What constitutes defamation of character?

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What constitutes defamation of character?

I work for a bank and am considering proceeding with a defamation of character lawsuit. Recentlya lady came in complaining about something minor. As she left, in front of 3 co-workers and a few clients she yelled at me, “You’re the guy who fixes computers so he can see little girls undress.” I have never been so offended in my life. I have the person’s information and should be able to obtain written statements from my co-workers. Do I have a case? If so, how to proceed?

Asked on June 10, 2011 under Personal Injury, Virginia

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Defamation is a false statement injurious to your reputation made with knowledge of its falsity communicated to a third party.  The elements to support a defamation claim were satisfied when the lady made the false statement about you in the presence of others.

Slander is spoken defamatiion.

You could file a lawsuit for defamation against the lady who made the statement.  If she repeats the statement, each repetition of the defamatory statement is actionable as a separate incident of defamation.  However, there is only one lawsuit you would file against her for defamation which would include the original statement and any repetition of it.  You will need to file your lawsuit prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.


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