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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    12

    Default Do You Have to Prove Damanges to Win a Defamation of Character Lawsuit

    My question involves business law in the state of: NY

    Long story short a client left his former marketing/hosting/website development provider and switched to me. Their old provider got mad, contacted them and said my business is associated with distribution of alcohol, pornography, and some seo scam (not of this is in any way true). The customer who is an older lady obviously freaked out and left.

    I'm extremely pissed off about this and want to sue. Problem is, the services she requested were only a few hundred $/year. So do i have to prove actual damages to win or can i get money for defamation/ruining my business image (this customer does know other clients of mine).

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Default Re: Do You Have to Prove Damanges to Win a Defamation of Character Lawsuit

    If the only damage you have suffered is in the range of a few hundred dollars per year, then that's the only damage you have suffered. You can't recover for loss of business or reputation that does not exist outside of your imagination.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    576

    Default Re: Do You Have to Prove Damanges to Win a Defamation of Character Lawsuit

    NY acknowleges defamation per se, and false accusations of criminal behavior generally fall under this. In which case damages are presumed, and one may recover far more than actual damages.

    That said, if this has only cost you several hundred dollars, you would have to be really angry with money to burn, since most defamation attorneys would not touch your case without you dropping at least $5k retainer, and it could easily cost you more in legal fees and aggravation than you could realistically expect to recover.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Do You Have to Prove Damanges to Win a Defamation of Character Lawsuit

    For defamation per se in New York you don't need to plead special damages; but I see nothing that suggests that the presumption of damages goes further than that.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Key West, FL
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    2,350

    Default Re: Do You Have to Prove Damanges to Win a Defamation of Character Lawsuit

    I assume your business is incorporated. That means it can't collect damages available to an individual such as emotional injury, humilitation, etc. You also can't do it pro se. A defamation attorney is going to cost you thousands. If the communication was to only one customer, then you'd be hard pressed to prove any meaningful publication or slander. The customer probably would not even testify for you. Lost cause. Instead of spending money on an attorney, put it into an advertising campaign.

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