Visitor Question

Can I sue for defamation per quod?

Submitted By: Ed (Ludlow, Vermont)

Belligerent family members pulled messages from an anonymous message board (Yahoo) and sent the messages out to almost 250 people via e-mail.

The messages were racist and bigoted statements made by someone on the message board and attributed to me.

My name was deliberately put in the subject of the e-mail as “(My full name) Post of the Day”.

Copies of at least two statements were sent to e-mail addresses that had to be stolen and/or hacked. This has caused great harm to me and professional acquaintances, my children and teachers they are involved with (these teachers received the e-mails), and many people I have known for many years.

This is a deliberate act to defame my character, bring direct harm to my children and my mother, and is an easily provable case. I have the messages, the people to whom the messages were sent, and the defamatory statements.

The two people involved have stated, in writing, that they do not intend to stop and the e-mails will continue. I cannot stop this and it is devastating my personal and professional relationships. I have concrete proof, information, and written documentation.

It is so clear and shouldn’t be difficult to prosecute. I am not looking for money, but I believe there is grounds for monetary punishment. I am financially unable to afford an attorney and hope there might be a lawyer who would handle this case on a contingency basis.

The lawyer can get any full amount from settlement, no questions asked.

I just want these people to stop hurting me and my children. Is it possible to find an attorney on contingency for a defamation case? Can any criminal charges be filed against the perpetrators? Any perspective you can give would be appreciated. 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.


Dear Ed,

To answer your question requires more specific information about the actual remarks. Attributing bigoted and racist statements to you may not constitute defamation. To prove defamation per quod requires statements made, whether written or oral, which are untrue and serve to injure your reputation.

If the statements are untrue, and it appears they are, you may have the basis of a defamation case. Before proceeding with a lawsuit, contact Yahoo and request they remove the statements from the message board. In most cases Yahoo prohibits statements which are racist.

Contact Yahoo Security and report the inappropriate comments.

Your next step is to post statements rebutting the defamatory statements.

Then contact several personal injury attorneys and ask whether or not they would accept such a case. To do so the person(s) or organizations which published the defamatory statements will have to have “deep pockets.” This means, they will have to have enough assets to make it worth the attorney’s time and effort to sue them.

Learn more here: Liability for Defamation of Character

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 888-972-0892.

We wish you the best with your claim,


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