Can a file a civil suit against a verification site for defamation?

Asked over 1 year ago - Minneapolis, MN

A coworker was telling me about a site she uses to look at backgrounds of guys she meet Online. Today I was curious so I did a lookup on myself- using a "free trial", and was shocked to see they have my full name including Maiden name, my current phone number, year of birth (but date is off), and the States I have resided; and it has a Felony record that is NOT ME and a Divorce record NOT ME....linked to my name/demogr

Additional information

Thank you to the attorney that responded: can I sue, absolutely...will I win, probably not.

I understand they are pulling from public records but it IS NOT, my record they are pulling! They have someone else's record attached to my full name, current address and phone, etc. How can there NOT BE damaging if someone wanted to use this site and thinks the profile MY background....I do not understand how this can be allowed without consequence.!!

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Tricia Dwyer

    Contributor Level 19


    Lawyer agrees


    Answered . Hello. If a statement is defamatory per se, then punitive damages may be awarded. The purpose of an award for punitive damages is solely to punish the offender and to discourage the offender from repeating the conduct. General damages and special damages for harms suffered are also possible claims to a defamation action, but you did not state any facts indicating such concerns. You may choose to address the matter with a private attorney. Some attorneys are available seven days for emergency legal needs. Many attorneys will confer initially at no charge. All the best.

    Call 612-296-9666 for a consultation: CIVIL Law, Rule 14 Qualified Neutral, Minnesota Supreme Court Roster... more
  2. Rixon Charles Rafter III

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Can you? Absolutely.

    Will you win? Probably not. You have no apparent damages. Donuts to dollars the site draws from public documents.

    FYI, most defamation suits do not recover even as much as was required to bring the suit.

    Finally, you may be able to contact the site manager and report discrepancies or even have an attorney write the site owner and demand the inaccurate items be removed.

    NOT LEGAL ADVICE. FOR EDUCATION AND INFORMATION ONLY. Mr. Rafter is licensed to practice in the Commonwealth of... more
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Personal injury and defamation

Defamation is any type of emotional or psychological personal injury that occurs when someone intentionally harms another’s character or reputation.

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