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Can you be sued for libel against a dead person?

Los Angeles, CA |

Can the estate of a deceased person sue someone for libel?

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Attorney answers 3


Yes, you can be sued. Specially so in the case of the Estate of a deceased person. Whether they will recover against you may be another matter. For instance, if a person dies in an automobile accident and he leaves a family behind, the defendant can be sued on behalf of the Estate and of the deceased children. Similarly, if the Estate of the deceased is managing an asset that depends on the reputation of the deceased and your libel jeopardizes the value of that estate whether it is because of royalties or , products or songs or any type of entertainment value and there is a proven marked reduction on the income you may be sued for the damages to the reputation of the asset of the Estate. However, the truth is always a defense. Consult with a defamation lawyer in L.A. for this is the place where these type of lawsuits are bound to be filed. If you need a defense lawyer, please contact me for a referral. Best of luck.

This answer is provided by California Accident Attorney Manuel A. Juarez, Esq., 510-206-4492. Abogado de Accidentes de Autos de California: 510-206-4492. Abogado de Lesiones de Accidentes de Autos, provides answers of a general context. These answers are not intended to form an attorney client relationship. Oakland Abogado Accidentes Autos, Abogado de Lesiones Personales, Abogado de Accidentes de carros, Abogado de accidentes de Peatones, practices in Antioch, Berkeley, Concord, Oakland, Hayward, Martinez, Newark, Richmond, San Francisco and San Rafael. El abogado de lesiones y heridos en accidentes de autos, is licensed only in California. This information is good only in California and it is not to be taken as legal advice on car accidents, personal injury, divorce, bankruptcy or in any other type of situation. Esta respuesta es del Abogado de Accidentes de Autos, Abogado de Lesiones Personales, Abogado de Heridos en Accidentes de carros, Manuel A. Juárez, 510-206-4492. Abogado Hispano de Accidentes, Abogado de Divorcios, Abogado Latino de Accidentes, Abogado de Accidentes de Oakland, Hayward, San Francisco, California. Estas respuesta son solo para información general y no consisten en consejo legal sobre divorcios, mantención de esposas, mantención de hijos o bancarrotas. Las respuestas son comentarios legales que no forman una relación de abogado y cliente. Manuel Juarez, Esq., esta licenciado solo en el Estado de California.



How would this work? I can't find any law against defaming someone already deceased. What I was told is that, under California law, dead people don't have a reputation.


California lets ongoing defamation suits to continue after the death of a plaintiff. California's survival statute provides that no cause of action shall be lost by reason of the person's death. See Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 377.20(a). In furtherance of that right, the court will allow a pending action to be continued on motion by the decedent's personal representative or successor in interest. See Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 377.31. Therefore, a deceased plaintiff's defamation claim could be continued by his estate or surviving spouse. Damages recoverable in such actions are limited to the loss or damage that the decedent sustained or incurred before death. See Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 377.34. However, that assumes that the case was filed BEFORE the death of the plaintiff



So you can't be sued by the estate of the deceased if the supposed libel comment occurred after their death?





This is not correct.

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