Can I Sue For Defamation Over Gaming Smack Talk?

hand with cards to represent poker game that devolved into defamation lawsuitSometimes competition is friendly, sometimes it’s downright nasty, and sometimes you end up in court.

Two poker players in Namibia let it get to the lawsuit level, and now one has to pay the other for full tilt trash talking.

Adriaan Christiaan Byleveldt and Lance Cotterell engaged in a poker game. Things got heated and according to reports, words were exchanged. Instead of leaving the beef at the table, the conflict lasted long after the game ended. According to reports, Byleveldt ended up calling Cotterell the Afrikaans word for the female anatomy in an email that was sent to a large group of people.

Now, defamation laws in Namibia aren’t quite as free speech friendly as they are in the United States. And believe it or not, Cotterell won the email defamation lawsuit! The judge awarded him 10,000 Namibian dollars ($1,025 US) in damages and made Byleveldt also pay Cotterell’s legal fees.

Byleveldt, however, is refusing to pay the punishment fines, as such a warrant of execution against property was issued upon the losing defendant.

If you’re wondering if this case would have turned out differently in the United States, the answer is yes. Simply calling somebody a name won’t get you far in an American defamation lawsuit, but it may elsewhere – including the United Kingdom.

To learn more about international defamation laws, check out our slander and libel database. If you need to speak with an attorney well-versed in international online defamation law, get in touch with Aaron Kelly, founding partner of the Kelly Warner Law firm.

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