Do I have a case for Defemation of Character?

Asked almost 2 years ago - Phoenix, AZ

I'm a service technician for a television service provider and have been falsely accused of theft by a customer. I worked for him on Oct 15 and he just called in and made an accusation that I had stole a hand gun from his residence on Nov 20th. I am currently on paid suspension while human resorces is investigating the accusation. I was shocked and embarrassed when my General Manager called me and informed me of the accusation and my suspension. I'm confident that they will find that the accusation is false but no matter what I will still have the fact that I was investigated for theft of a hand gun in my personnel file. Because of this accusation my integrity has been brought into question by my employer. I am currently waiting to be interviewed by our human resouce department.

Additional information

I have been in this line of work for the past 12 years and this is the first time that any accusations have been made against me. Now I have to face our human resource department for them to determine if I am trust worthy enough to be working in customers homes.

Attorney answers (3)

  1. James Lawrence Magazine

    Contributor Level 16

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Defamation cases are extremely difficult to recover rewarding damages that exceed the legal costs of pursuing the case. However, contact a defamation attorney in your area.

  2. Edward C. Hopkins Jr.

    Pro

    Contributor Level 12

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . If a customer called your employer and falsely accused you of committing a crime you did not commit, the customer defamed you.

    An accusation like that does not require innuendo. That sort of defamation falls under the defamation per se theory and it is actionable.

    You may also have viable claims for false light invasion of privacy, intentional interference with business contracts, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

    Your employer could have viable claims against the customer too.

    Contact an Arizona defamation lawyer to schedule an appointment. He or she can evaluate your case, explain your legal options, and help you estimate the costs associated with each option.

  3. Manuel Alzamora Juarez

    Contributor Level 20

    2

    Lawyers agree

    1

    Answered . You have a tough case. In order to win the slander/defamation case you have to show emotional damages or loss of standing in your community. Being fired from your job would fulfill this requirement. An investigation by your H/R department is already ongoing, you can bet they are talking about you and your past performance and trusatworthiness. The theft of a gun is a very serious offense and you are going to have to defend yourself. After H/R clears you, you may be able to bring a case for slander against this person for the emotional distress she caused you, but you will have to prove that you suffered mental distress. A psychologist treatment and a report will help. In the event you get fired, this could amount to your loss of income damages as a result of the false accusation. Better consult with an attorney near you to guide you during this investigation and to aid in the process. Best of luck.

    This answer is provided by Manuel A. Juarez, Esq., aka El Abogado de Accidentes de California: 510-206-4492. It... more

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