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Can I sue a past employee for defamation?

Tempe, AZ |

We had to let our employee go for numerous reasons. Afterwards, our former employee retaliated by writing a letter to our customers bashing our company with false information and accusing us of many things that are false. We believe this could damage our companies reputation and we might loose business. Furthermore, our former employee decided to leave all of their contact information. Can I do anything about this?

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Attorney answers 4

Posted

If the statements are false in fact and the person making them knew of there falsehood at the time they were made then you may have a strong case for defamation. In some states you must also prove damages. The case is stronger if the false statement is published in writing. Take the letter to an attorney in your area as soon as possible. Best of luck!

I am not familiar with the circumstances underlying this particular incident. Please be advised that the foregoing is not legal advice and in no way constitutes the formation of an attorney-client relationship. Do not take action based on the above. Do consult with an attorney in your area as soon as possible. If you are in New York State contact me directly at (607) 936-8057.

Posted

Tortious interference with business relations....contact a local lawyer.

Posted

Sure, there may be a real claim there. Of course, the content of the letter will be extremely important. It would be wise at this point to start identifying damages this letter has or may cause you. As has been mentioned, damages need to be concrete and not merely speculative. The language you use ("could damage / "might lose business") would likely be considered speculative so be sure to remain keenly aware of how this incident affects you.

Posted

Certainly. If the former employee knew, sometimes had reason to know, the comments were false, then you have been defamed. And if the defamation is directed at your business or career, you need not prove damages.

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