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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    2

    Default Can You Sue Over False and Defamatory Statements Made in a Police Report

    I live in the state of NM and was involved in some property damage. I drove up to a drive thru with a box truck, I didnt see any sign regarding any height issues so I didn't think it was a problem, I didn't notice the overhang extending out a couple feet and the top of the truck put a small dent in the awning. As a result I had to give my info to the onsite manager for insurance claim purposes.

    The issue that arose from this was two fold, I was driving a rental truck for work purposes and I had some previous work related accidents that was going to result in this being my last strike, all well and good, but where I got concerned and want to know if I should be worried or if I should file a lawsuit or something, because as a result of this accident I got fired which was okay but the firing manager had stapled a previously unknown police report that was filed by the restaurant. I understand this can be needed for insurance claims? But the problem was what the manager said about the situation to the police.

    They told the officer that I asked them not to call the cops due to several DUI's on my record, and that I was red eyed, slurring my words and intoxicated or high on something. The problem with this is that I would never say that I had DUI's when it can be confirmed on my record that I do not. This instantly shows me this manager openly lied about the situation, because why would I make up a lie about having DUI's? What I did say, because she asked me why I was so upset, I said I was just pissed because we had to get the insurance people involved as I knew in that moment my termination would be coming, so I was not only upset but I also have a medical history of anxiety attacks and was in the middle of one since I just had the accident.

    After giving my info she said she was done so I left. And apparently she called the cops after. So she not only made a false police report but because of the things she said, I now have this false report on my employment history which im worried will prevent me from being hired in the future. Im not even sure how it works to make those accusations without me present and the officer not being able to make a personal judgement on me in the moment. I feel like in any other situation I could care less about this report, but now that its part of my record it concerns me, and when I asked my previous employer if that was the reason for my termination he said no, that it was because of the accidents, but he still wrote it in my termination paperwork. I just need help knowing if I should take action on anyone, I don't like the libel defamation of character that is now on my record.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    17,054

    Default Re: Law Layman: Question Regarding a False Police Report

    While the lie might rise to the level of defamation, I don't see where you would have any monetary damages to sue for.

    You were fired because of the accident and prior accident history. Nothing wrong with that. That record might cost you some in job prospects but it's not going to be because of what the restaurant manager said.

    The police report isn't likely to be seen by anybody but your employer and the insurance company so your reputation in the community is not going to be affected by what's in it. Probably wouldn't change much even if it was.

    You're welcome to consult a defamation attorney and review your options.

    But I think you'd better just suck it up, file for unemployment, and look for another job.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    832

    Default Re: Law Layman: Question Regarding a False Police Report

    You say the manager made a false report that you crashed a truck into their overhead awning? No, some false statements may have been made but the report is valid. It may be that the manager called their district manager after you left and the company needed a police report, which the store manager may not have known about.

    So, were you investigated by the police for DUI? If so, what was the outcome? If nothing happened then the statement the manager made is of little consequence. I highly, highly doubt a future employer will ever pull a full police report to read the statement of the victim. All you need to do is notify your prospective employer the reason you were terminated from your previous employer was because you had an at fault accident.

    I believe you are overthinking this.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Law Layman: Question Regarding a False Police Report

    Thank you for the comments, makes sense.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Law Layman: Question Regarding a False Police Report

    It is best to consult a lawyer for advice. They will be able to clarify about the insurance.

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