Can a creditor disparage your business?

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Can a creditor disparage your business?

We have a trucking company and we are leasing a trailer through an individual person. This individual person is contacting our brokers and telling them not to load us because we owe him money. We have a contract with the broker as well but there is no connection. The broker refuses to load us because the individual is telling him not to load us because we owe him money. Is it legal for the individual to call our brokers? And is it legal for the broker to not load us as well?

Asked on November 15, 2012 under Business Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Yes, it is legal for someone to contact other people and either tell them that you owe him/her money and/or say that he/she recommends that the other people do not do business with you. As long as he is not lying about the facts, he can do this--lying would potentially be defamation, which is the making of false factual statements about a person or business, which damage the reputation of that person or business. But non-defamatory statements, such as true facts or opinions, are legal.

If there is a contract with the broker which requires it to load you, that contract is enforceable; in the absence of contractual obligations, however, someone can decide whether or not to do business with someone else.


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