When may I file a damages lawsuit for online defamation?

On Behalf of | Oct 11, 2021 | Business Law |

As a business owner, you may file a defamation lawsuit to obtain financial relief for harm caused to your revenue or reputation. As noted by Entrepreneur.com, false information published over a public forum could result in a substantial loss of income.

You may file a legal action for defamation if you can show malicious intent to cause harm. In some cases, publishing information with a reckless disregard for the truth may also classify as defamation. When falsehoods posted on an online public forum result in financial injuries, the court may order remedies.

What actions may the court classify as malicious intent?

When individuals post false online statements about your business to cause injury the court may view it as malicious. The publisher’s intent to distribute deceitful reviews may have included convincing your customers to visit a competitor.

You may need to show that the publisher knew or should have known that the posted contents did not represent facts. The intent to publish false information may have included lowering your customers’ perception of your products or professional ability.

What remedies may the court award with proof of malice?

If you present accounting records that correlate a loss of income with the timelines of false online postings, the court may determine a financial award. Calculating how much each lost customer would have contributed to your sales may help to show the amount of monetary damage.

The U.S. Constitution protects individuals’ rights to publicly post their personal opinions about companies and their products or services. When online postings reflect a malicious intent to cause harm, however, a defamation lawsuit may result in an apology, a retraction or a court-ordered financial award.