In Ohio, defamation is a civil legal claim available to individuals, businesses, and groups that have had their reputations smeared by an unprivileged, negligent, harmful false statement of fact.
Difference Between Slander and Libel
What is the difference between slander and libel? Easy: slander is spoken defamation; libel is written (or graphical) defamation.
Ohio Defamation Law: To Win You Need To Prove That…
- The defendant has either published or broadcast the statement in question. If someone tells you — and nobody else — that you stole their goat, it’s not defamation. Now, if they hopped online and told the world you stole their goat, or verbally told another person about your alleged penchant for mammal theft, then you probably have a solid case (provided you didn’t steal the goat, of course).
- The false statement was about you, the plaintiff. However, the plaintiff’s name doesn’t necessarily need to be mentioned. If the statement includes adequate, identifiable facts that clearly point to the plaintiff, defamation may be claimed.
- The statement caused harm to the plaintiff’s reputation. Opinion-based insults are rarely deemed legally defamatory. For example, telling John Doe he smell like a stolen goat isn’t slanderous or libelous. However, if you say the reason JD smells like a stolen goat is because he stole your goat, then you better have proof.
- The published statement was negligently made and merits no privileges. What is a privilege, as it relates to defamation? Head here to read more on the topic.