My reputation is being ruined by defamation
What are my rights in this case?
Here are a few things to consider.
“Defamation” occurs when one person shares with another person information that is untrue and may cause damage to the reputation of someone else. Defamation can occur by spoken words, traditional media such as newspapers and radio, as well as electronic communication like email and social media.
Companies, businesses and brands can be defamed in much the same way that an individual can.
If you have a reputation in Jamaica, you can sue here even if the defamatory communication is published on the internet or abroad.
IS IT ACTUALLY DEFAMATION?
Defamation is not simply about disliking what people may say about you. The communication must meet a certain standard to be considered “defamatory”. Double check potentially defamatory communication against these questions:
- Were the words published to a third party?
- Do the words refer to someone, whether directly or indirectly? Even if a name is not mentioned, is there a photograph or description which identifies the person?
- Does the communication damage the person’s reputation? Does it cause others to shun or avoid them or expose them to hatred, contempt or ridicule?
WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT IT?
There are a range of remedies to address defamatory communication including requesting an apology, retraction or correction, suing for damages and injunctive relief to have the communication removed.. “Damages” means money to cover the impact of the defamation on your reputation including effects on your finances, physique or psyche.
There is a limitation period of two (2) years in respect of defamatory communication which means you must sue within 2 years, after which no further remedies may be pursued unless an extension is granted by the court.
The person who is accused of publishing the defamatory communication can raise certain defences which may defeat your case. For example, the person can assert that they were actually telling the truth, or that the communication was merely a fair comment on a matter or person of public interest, such as a celebrity or political matters.
Whether you are the defamed or the defamer, your attorney can help you negotiate the nuances of the situation.
Your MFG attorneys are
here to help.
If you are faced with an accusation of defamation or are at the subject of defamatory communication: