If someone hurts your reputation by making untrue statements about you, you may have grounds to sue for damages for defamation. The defaming statement made against you can fall into one of two categories: slander or libel. Slander refers to statements that are spoken, while libel refers to written defamation. Since written statements tend to cause injury for a longer period of time than spoken statements, libel is considered to be more harmful and better grounds for a lawsuit than slander.
The defamatory statement must have been read or heard by persons other than you. Some examples are where the statement is made on television or radio, in a speech, in a newspaper or magazine, on a leaflet or picket sign, in loud conversation, which you could prove with the help of witnesses, in gossip, which you could prove if you have an email chain or other witnesses or on social media sites, including Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, and others.
In Ontario, you do not have to prove damages. However, the court will consider the seriousness and extent of the defamatory statement in assessing your damages. If the court is persuaded that most people would not believe the defamatory statement or that no real harm came to you as a result of the defamatory statement being made public, your damages could be minimal or not at all.
If you believe you have been defamed, it is important to contact the lawyers at Vice & Hunter LLP. Our lawyers can help you:
• review the facts;
• determine if you have an action;
• provide you with an assessment of the monetary value of your damages; and,
• provide you with realistic and pertinent advice.
These cases can be difficult to litigate. Defamatory statements are repeated in court in the course of the litigation. It can be stressful and overwhelming at times. We can help.
Contact Vice & Hunter LLP
Our general litigation lawyers help people with defamation matters all over Ottawa and surrounding parts of Ontario. Call us at 613-701-0898 or 866-252-0670 toll-free or fill out our online form below.