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Litigation Blog.
The seasoned lawyers and litigators at The Rubinstein Law Firm are here to share their insights with you.

What damages can I collect for libel or slander?

Libel and slander are both forms of defamation where someone says or publishes false information about you that causes you damage of some type. It may impact your reputation or lead to financial impacts.

The Michigan Legislature explains you have the ability to collect damages for libel or slander but only for actual losses. Losses may happen to your feelings, business or property.

Retraction limitation

You should always try to have the person committing the grievance against you print or publish a retraction. In some cases, you must make this request in order to collect damages. If you fail to do so, the court could deny your claim.

If the other party does put out a retraction, it must happen at a time in which those who originally heard the information will hear it. For example, if a newspaper published a false story about you on the front page, it cannot post the retraction deep inside the publication in a small ad.

Public information limitation

You also cannot receive damages if the information is published as part of a public record, notice or another government announcement.

Other points

You do have the right to make a claim against everyone involved in the incident. This includes whoever wrote it and published it. However, you only have claims against those who maliciously distributed the information. If someone was unaware, then they are not liable.

It is also important to understand that claiming damages for libel or slander requires the information to be publicly shared. If the information-sharing occurred only in private, you will not be able to seek damages.