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 over full tilt trash-talking.

Adriaan Christiaan Byleveldt and Lance Cotterell played a poker game. Things got heated; words were exchanged. But instead of leaving the beef at the table, the conflict lingered after the last card was laid, culminating in Byleveldt calling Cotterell the Afrikaans word for the female anatomy in a mass email.

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. The judge also made Byleveldt pay Cotterell’s legal fees.

Byleveldt, however, is refusing to pay — which is causing him some additional legal problems.

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 in another jurisdiction.

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.

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