In Part 1 of this two-part article we gave a general overview of defamation. We defined defamation and the two types of defamation along with the basics of proving a defamation claim. In the second-part of the series we’ll describe the elements of a defamation lawsuit, the damages that are recoverable, and the statute of limitations.
Defamation is causing someone harm by speaking or writing false statements about them. If you feel your character and reputation has been harmed in some way due to defamation, we highly recommend you contact a construction lawyer in Jacksonville who is thoroughly familiar with civil wrongs such as defamation.
Elements of a Defamation Lawsuit
According to Florida law, defamation consists of the defendant publishing a false statement about the plaintiff to a third party. The publishing of the defendant’s statement causes harm to the plaintiff. Plaintiff has the right to bring forth lawsuit, if the plaintiff can prove that:
- The defendant published an unprivileged statement to someone other than the plaintiff. This means that someone other than the plaintiff saw or heard the statement.
- It is apparent that the statement is about the plaintiff. It should be easy to identify who the statement is about.
- The statement harmed the plaintiff’s reputation in some way. Has the plaintiff lost business, a job, or esteem? Was the plaintiff shunned or ridiculed in some way?
- The plaintiff must prove there was some form of malice or negligence on the part of the defendant.
Recoverable Damages in Defamation
Under Florida law, the types of compensatory damages a victim can receive as a result of proving defamation may include: payment for expenses, emotional distress, a lost of wages and benefits, and even punitive damages. In addition, defamation involving a public person is different than defamation involving a private person.
Statute of Limitations for Defamation
If you would like to file a defamation claim you must act quickly. In Florida, you have up to two years following a defamation offense to dispute your defamation claim via lawsuit. If you fail to do so, you will no longer have the right to sue.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.