Month: February 2018

Liability For Defamation

To create liability for defamation there must be:

(a) a false and defamatory statement concerning another;

(b) an unprivileged publication to a third party;

(c) fault amounting at least to negligence on the part of the publisher; and

(d) either actionability of the statement irrespective of special harm, or the existence of special harm caused by the publication . . .

A statement is defamatory when it would tend to lower the subject in the estimation of the community, excite derogatory opinions about the subject, and hold the subject up to contempt. In reviewing an allegedly defamatory statement, the words must be reviewed in their entirety and in context to determine whether they are susceptible of a defamatory meaning. Whether a statement is defamatory is generally a question of law; however, where a statement is susceptible of different constructions, one of which is defamatory, resolution of the ambiguity is a question of fact for the jury.