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Bringing a slander claim

A slander claim is a claim under the law of tort for a defamatory statement - a statement that caused harm to the claimant’s reputation. A slander claim is very similar to a libel claim since both are brought under the tort of defamation. The difference is that when a defamatory statement is spoken (and not recorded) it is considered slander, but when it is printed, recorded or otherwise attached to a tangible object, it is considered libel.

When bringing a slander claim the claimant must show that the statement had damaged his or her reputation. An example of such a case is McManus v Beckham. In this case Victoria Beckham, wife of footballer David Beckham, was in a sport merchandise shop owned by the claimant. She had spotted some memorabilia signed by her husband and had stated in a loud voice that these are forged, and that it was not her husband’s signature. The signatures were in fact real, and the claimant was able to bring a claim against Mrs Beckham for slander, as her statements were widely reported in the media, causing harm to the shop’s reputation.

However there are some situations when proving a loss to a reputation is not required. If you have been accused of committing crime punishable by imprisonment, having certain diseases, inappropriate sexual behaviour (as a woman) or if your professional skills were disparaged, you may have a claim that is actionable per se, meaning that there is no need to prove a loss.

If you would like to obtain legal advice on a slander claim, Caven can put you in touch with a local defamation / slander solicitor free of charge. So, if you have any questions or would like our help in finding local defamation / slander solicitors please call us on 0800 1777 167 or complete the web-form above.

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