Defamation can destroy your business’s reputation and harm the bottom line. To claim defamation, a person or entity must make false statements about you or your company, damaging your reputation.
According to the Michigan legislature, libel and slander are similar forms of defamation that may require you to take action. For you to claim defamation, the statements must be false and not a matter of opinion.
Slander vs. libel
Slander involves anything spoken about you. These are verbal statements rather than published or written statements. Libel, on the other hand, involves published or written content. For example, if a journalist publishes an article about your company, making false claims of criminal activity, this is libel. Generally, libel is more severe than slander because the publication may be accessible for a more extended period.
Damages to recover
To recover damages for your business, you must prove that the defamation caused financial harm. For example, if someone’s false claims about your business result in a loss of earnings, public ridicule and loss of clients or other business, you may have a claim against them. Punitive damages can also punish or deter the individual from making similar claims in the future. The only way you can receive punitive damages is if you reach out to the individual before filing a claim and ask him or her to retract the statements or publish a correction.
When it comes to defamation, there typically must be malice behind it. The person making the statements should not have reason to believe the claims to be true.