South Carolina Defamation Laws
When a person seeks to ruin another person’s reputation by speaking falsely about them, it is called slander. When it is written, it is known as libel. Like many states, South Carolina has strict defamation laws, and allows victims of this type of tort to seek damages, for any wrong doing. A person who has been defamed, must prove to the court that; a false statement that was a defamation was made, that the statement, was published to another party, the person who released the statement was at fault, and that the published statement caused special harm. If a plaintiff does not have any of these, then this kills their defamation claim.
When a plaintiff is involved in a defamation suit, they are liable to receive general damages. These are those that, the law assumes are entitled to each person, naturally and as necessary when their reputation has been destroyed. These include damages related to emotional and physical injury, hurt feelings and mental suffering – these cannot be healed, even with money awarding. On the other hand, special damages are those that are tangible, and are as a direct loss due to the plaintiff’s reputation being tainted. These can be covered via monetary compensation and include business losses or losing of one’s job. Special damages must still be proven, even after general damages are awarded.
Truth is the only defamation defense there is, in a court of law. After all, if the libel or slander that the plaintiff is claiming happens to be true, then there is no basis for the defamation suit. As always, the defendant has the burden of proof to vindicate their position. If truth is found, then the plaintiff cannot continue with the case, and it ends up dismissed. The caveat to this rule is that, when it comes to published wordings in newspapers, the defendant cannot use these as the ‘truth’, if they were stated by someone else.
Defamation does not only apply to an individual, and can also refer to a corporation. If a business is misrepresented, it can suffer massive losses, lay off workers and have a destroyed brand. Hiring a defamation lawyer is necessary in reputation cases, and damages can be awarded to the plaintiff.
Workplace defamation is also common, and has seen people get fired and unable to get new jobs. A lawyer can help such a person, as they are usually, emotionally drained, frustrated and angry. Nobody knows more about having their reputation ruined than celebrities. Tabloids have been taken to court by angry actors and actresses, for making statements that are not real. These can damage their professions such as when they are said to have children out of wedlock, or when they are said to be cheating on their spouses.
An expert on defamation law in the state of South Carolina can help residents as well as businesses; get the justice that they deserve. One of the most prized possessions belonging to an individual is their reputation, and they should do whatever it takes to protect it.