What can I do if someone libeled me?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What can I do if someone libeled me?

I work in retail as a store manager. HI had a customer who was upset about one of the company policies and brought something back that was not in it’s original state as it left the store. He was really rude and disrespectful verbally abusing, wearing and threatening me in front of other customers and staff. Not considering the other customers, he kept on insulting, swearing and yelling at me. When he left he took a picture of me and posted it on facebook with really disrespectfull comments. What can do about this?

Asked on November 6, 2016 under Personal Injury, Alaska


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If it really was defamation (defamation is the broad category: libel is written defamation, while slander is oral or spoken), then you could sue him, but unless you can show some economic damage or loss from the defamation, the amount of money you could recover might be very limited (the law only provide compensation for provable losses)--though you could seek a court order requiring him to stop defaming you and to take down any online or posted defamatory material.
Only false factual assertions which damage your reputation is defamation. True facts, even if they put you in a bad light, are not defamation; and opinons, no matter how hurtful, are not defamation either. So he could post something saying that he thought you were rude, unhelpful, unsympatheic, lazy, nasty, worst store manager he's ever seen, etc. and that is *not* defamation since that is all his opinion, and the law lets people have their opinion. There is nothing you can do about his opinion: he can post it wherever he likes, tell it to whomever he likes, etc. Only if he made a negative untrue factual statement, like that you pushed or hit him, or stole from him, etc. when you did not, would that be defamation.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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