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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    1

    Default Falsely Accused of Pushing a Co-Worker

    I am a male teacher and another very bitter and unbalanced female teacher at my school has written a letter to the assistant superintendent of the district telling her all the things that she thinks are wrong at our school. Apparently, she passed this letter around school to different people in an attempt to get signatures, but people would not go along with it. In the letter she lied by writing that I had pushed another teacher (her close friend) on two separate occasions that were a whole year apart. The asst. superintendent dismissed the whole letter, except for that part. She called the teacher that was supposedly pushed and she also lied and said I pushed her. I was called in to say my side of the story, I told the truth and said I have no idea what she is talking about. Then I was told that an investigation was going to take place in which witnesses who work in the office will be interviewed. I know that these allegations will be unfounded because I never pushed the women EVER. I am a hundred pounds heavier than her and a foot taller, if I would have pushed her up against the wall like she said I did, she would have been hurt badly. Also, why would anyone wait a year to tell a superior she was pushed by a man in the workplace? It is just all so suspicious and doesn't make sense. Once this investigation is over I want to sue both of them. I would like to sue the woman who wrote the letter, passed it around, and eventually sent it to our superior for libel. And I would like to sue the woman who lied to the asst. superintendent for slander. These women have a history of lying and making false accusations. This is not out of nowhere. These are obviously malicious attempts to get my fired. They are holding a long standing grudge against me for some disagreements we have had in the past. If I do not defend myself legally now what will be next? Please tell me if I have a case. If so what steps shall I take and what will the consequences be if they are found guilty of libel and slander?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Key West, FL
    Posts
    2,350

    Default Re: Do I Have a Libel Case Here

    It would be a civil matter. NOBODY is found "guilty" in a civil matter. They are found either liable or not liable. What subject do you teach? Sure hope it is not English. Sounds more like gym.

    If the letter only was shown to one person, you'd be hard pressed to prove a case. However, as it was shown to other teachers, then there is a case.

    You are best to wait for the "investigation" to work its way to a conclusion.

    Even if you sued, you'd be hard pressed to overcome two witnesses. Perhaps one will tell the truth in the school investigation. If they both stick to their guns, then you don't have much of a chance in court.

    Libel is traditionally a case against media or involves a widespread dissemination of untrue statements of fact. You can research the standards for libel and similar torts easy enough. I am not going to write another essay on that subject.

    There are additional complications for civil actions involving alleged defamation in the workplace. This sort of a situation makes it even more difficult to win. Lawsuits against employers who give out bad reference information, for example, are typically prohibited by law and otherwise are very difficult to prove.

    I don't think you have much of a chance in winning a civil action, nor will any libel attorney thus you will be paying thousands up front. No chance of a contingency agreement for you.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Do I Have a Libel Case Here

    Well.. The obvious "Have a Lawyer on standby" idea will get tossed around..
    Also.. I might not know this area very well, but the letter does not constitue as slander.. When it's written, it's libel.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: Falsely Accused of Pushing a Co-Worker

    Obviously you need to put first things first - work on dealing with the charges against you and getting them resolved in your favor.

    If you truly want to litigate a defamation case, read this, and then start putting together the $5,000 - $10,000 you'll likely need to retain a lawyer. You can try to find a lawyer willing to take the case on a contingency, but defamation cases are typically costly to bring while producing low verdicts... if you even win.

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