Visitor Question

Do I have a case for damages?

Submitted By: A (USA)

The day after being elected as president of a public High School rowing team booster club I received a call from the school’s athletic director. We set up a meeting to review some problems with the booster club. At the meeting, the attendees were the past president and the head coach, as well as the athletic director and myself.

First there was a mention of misappropriating funds, and then I was asked what happened to funds from a clothing account. The money was spent on clothing. Because of the way this was presented, in front of third parties, I feel my reputation has been damaged.

I have a local business and am afraid some people will not shop at my store. I also have just recently been diagnosed with Meniere’s disease which I feel was brought on by the stress of all of this. Do I have a case? Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear A,

There are two (2) basic types of defamation: slander and libel.

Slander is the oral communication of a false statement which is harmful to a person’s reputation in the community.

Libel is the written communication of a false statement which is harmful to a person’s reputation in the community.

To determine whether or not the statements made to you were defamatory will require you to prove the statements were false, and they damaged your reputation in the community.

One of the tests for whether or not your your reputation in the community was harmed is proof the statements were false, AND that your business suffered as a result of the false statements. Doing so will require an accountant, an attorney, and other professionals who will be able to show your business dropped as a result of the statements, and the reason why.

To prove your illness was brought on or exacerbated by the statements will require you to prove the statements were false, and you’ll need a medical narrative conclusively stating your illness was brought on or exacerbated by the statements. It will be nearly impossible to find a doctor who will make that conclusion for you.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: January 3, 2015

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