What can I do if someone libeled me?

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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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 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.
 


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