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Lawson v. Stow, 2014 COA 26

Case Conclusion Date: 03.13.2014

Practice Area: Libel & Slander

Outcome: Reversed Trial Court in Part and Affirmed in Part

Description: The Colorado Court of Appeals, affirming a Jefferson County trial court in part and reversing it in part, held that someone who makes a false report to a law enforcement agency or child protective services agency cannot be held liable by the person the false report was made against using a negligence per se theory. The Court also held that prefatory statements such as "I felt" do not convert provably false and derogatory statements of fact into constitutionally protected opinions. The trial court was ordered to review the trial evidence record to determine if one of the plaintiffs proved by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant knew or recklessly disregarded evidence that the plaintiff did not threaten to kill him when the plaintiff posted the following statement on Facebook for all the plaintiff's Facebook friends to see: "Re-post this if there is someone that is still alive because you don’t want to go to prison."

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