Suing for slander

 

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.

This distinguishing point between slander and libel may not seem like a major distinction, but when it comes to trial the difference becomes much clearer.

What must I prove?

For example, in the recent case of Hussein v Farooq, the claimant alleged that the defendants had disparaged his professional merit in front of a potential client and by doing so they had damaged his reputation.

However, during the time that the statement was made the claimant was not present, and only brought the lawsuit based on the information he received from his assistant. The court was unable to conclude that the defamatory statement was ever made, and therefore found for the defendant.

Importance of evidence for slander

The lack of concrete evidence and the need to rely on witnesses make suing for slander much more complex than a claim for libel. Additionally, in both cases the claimant must prove that the statement was indeed defamatory.

If you feel that someone has made a defamatory statement against you and you are thinking of suing for slander, you should first discuss the merits of your case with a solicitor.

Proving defamation is difficult and legal proceedings are more complex and expensive in this area of tort than in most other civil lawsuits. Seeking professional advice will therefore allow you evaluate your case before making a financial commitment.

Do you have a case for slander? Caven can recommend a specialist defamation solicitor and, importantly, the right size law firm for the magnitude of your case. Please call us on 08001 221 2299 or complete the web-form above for a free recommendation.

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