Skip to main content

Do I have a libel/slander case if a pediatrician who's exGF of my BF emailed my family and friends that I have a mental illness?

Palo Alto, CA |

The exGF of my BF is a pediatrician. She emailed my family, his friends and my friends claiming that she has observed that I have a mental illness. The email also contains other false accusations and specifically states that she has made these observations personally when I went to her house of holiday parties or her wedding. There are witnesses who who can state that I was completely normal, all smiles and your typical guest, socializing and enjoying the party. She also tried to call my family and friends. She did it to ambush me when my BF and I went to see a relationship therapist. Fortunately the therapist confirmed I had no mental illness and having read the email, agreed that it was inappropriate for her to make such a diagnosis. It has caused me emotional duress for 15 months

The exGF happens to be bipolar herself. She used her medical degree to support this slander. The emails were forwarded to me by my friends and family. I also belong to a club in the community and I know that several others have suddenly distanced themselves; people who should not know about these details and it rumors are not circulating about this beyond the people who received the emails. It is uncomfortable for me.

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

first, you should just ignore her. she is the ex and obviously unhappy. you have the relationship and should spend your time and money being happy. litigation, whether successful or not, is very expensive, stressful and ultimately could be detrimental to your happiness.
you probably do not have a viable case anyway. that doesn't mean that there isn't some lawyer who will gladly take your money to sue her but in the end you will end up with a stack of legal bills piled on the emotional carnage that such litigation would cause. good luck, be healthy and happy!

Mark as helpful

1 lawyer agrees

5 comments

Asker

Posted

Actually it has been extremely stressful for me because my BF and I broke up; What evidence would make it a viable case? Because she spoke to can emailed others (and I have the string of emails) it has affected my reputation. Those who knew me were quite angry and dismissed her email and supported me, but there are others she emailed who don't know me well and have judged me. Now others know. I mostly want to discredit her and for her to recant her statement.

Terrence Marc Rubino

Terrence Marc Rubino

Posted

am sorry for the breakup but there will be better days ahead for you. i am not a california lawyer but generally: defamation is when someone says or writes something untrue about you to a third party that is believed and causes you actual damages. there are some exceptions where damages are presumed such as accusations of a crime or communicable disease. no lawyer likely is going to do the case on a contingency. you undoubtedly will have to pay by the hour and the costs. you would have to prove that some people believed it and because they believed it you suffered actual damage. this means lots of depositions and probably motions to have the case dismissed without a trial. assuming you survive all that without going broke, you have a trial. assuming you win, you then have a judgment and have to collect it. obviously i don't know the ex but just because she is a dr. doesn't necessarily mean she is readily collectable. further if you win what if the jury gives you much less than you have spent. the net result is you have thrown alot of money away and kept yourself in a stressful place. palo alto is a distance away but i think your money is better spent either pampering yourself or going to a place like the ashram in calabasas calif. for a rejuvenation. today is the first day of the rest of your life. remaining stuck in an unhappy past situation won't help. that is my two cents. good luck.

Asker

Posted

I thought all I needed to prove is: To win damages against someone who has libeled you, you must prove the written statement was: False (check) Harmed your reputation (check) Published to at least one other person (at least 5 ppl) (check) About you specifically (check) Made with some degree of fault and intention (check - she knows you made false statements)

Asker

Posted

Here is an example of 1 of the emails. There are others that give false specific examples. "But I also know (A) for several years and she was a guest at my wedding as well as come to my home for holidays, bday celebrations, etc. My observations and professional opinion is NOT based solely on what (B) has told me. I know that every relationship has 2 sides and that (B) is not a blameless victim nor do I demonize (A). BUT THIS IS NOT A RELATIONSHIP ISSUE. THIS IS AN ISSUE REGARDING A VERY SERIOUS MEDICAL/MENTAL ILLNESS. This opinion is objectively based on my own interactions with (A). In my opinion, she is very, very ill but lacks any insight so she needs help getting help." Again, the person writing this is a pediatrician and emailed and called my friends and family. Before my friends forwarded me the emails, they warned me it would be really "raw" and there are several and I am very stressed about them. I also belong to a club in the community and I know that several others have suddenly distanced themselves; people who should not know about these details and it rumors are not circulating about this beyond the people who received the emails. It is uncomfortable for me.

Terrence Marc Rubino

Terrence Marc Rubino

Posted

i am not familiar with california law and it may be more broad than what defamation laws are typically. perhaps contact a reputable california lawyer. the statements above seem more statements of opinion rather than fact and i would be surprised if calif didn't require proof that the defamation was believed and caused actual damages. i could be wrong though. it is easy for someone else like me to say but the bottom line is that i would move on. this woman is obviously trouble and why spend money for litigation just to keep her in your life. people are going to judge you by how you are to them and by what they see rather than malicious gossip.

Posted

Defamation lawyers typically want a $5,000.00 retainer just to begin work, and cases frequently cost about $30,000.00. If a person has sustained a significant monetary loss, it could be a situation where the recovery exceeds the high costs. Contact a local lawyer in your state to discuss.

Mark as helpful

2 lawyers agree

Posted

5 peculiar facts. She has a right to talk about her opinions but not a right to lie about your mental condition. I believe that this technically qualifies as slander and intentional infliction of emotional distress while in writing qualifies as libel and by her spoken words slander. You might want to report her to the Medical Board and consider filing a lawsuit and obtaining a Restraining Order against any such future conduct. If nothing else this may shut her up for awhile.

__________________

If you have found this information helpful, please let the attorney know by marking best answer. Thank you. This participating Attorney does not warrant any information provided, nor are we creating an Attorney-Client relationship by providing said information to you on this site. Nothing contained herein is intended to constitute, offer, induce, promise, or contract of any kind. The content provided is presented as a courtesy to be used only for informational purposes and is not represented to be error free. The Law Offices of John N. Kitta makes no representations or warranties of any kind with respect to its answer to inquiries, and such representations and warranties are being expressly disclaimed. Given limited facts, we are attempting to share relevant information concerning this area of the law as a public service.

Mark as helpful

1 lawyer agrees

3 comments

Asker

Posted

What action would the medical board take and what is the evidence I would need in the state of Calif to find her guilty of libel and lying? I have her emails and if we were to ask her what observations she made to lead her to believe I am mentally ill, I am 100% confident she cannot describe any without lying. If she lies, I would be able to call upon her own friends as witnesses who saw me at her parties and wedding. They would all say that i was completely normal and they had fun with me. This also happened 15 months ago and I put it aside temporarily because it was so devastating to me.

John Noah Kitta

John Noah Kitta

Posted

I can’t list your evidence, evidence is whatever proof you have that substantiates the claims you’ve made as against this doctor (i.e. copies of writings, messages left on voice mail, witnesses who have heard her make malicious statements against you, any writings you are aware of and have copies to produce…), these would all be considered evidence for purposes of the Medial Board and the Court. I hope this is helpful.

Asker

Posted

I have copies of emails that my friends forwarded to me that was sent by her and would have the testimony from others that she contacted them. I wanted to know if that was sufficient evidence, if I can still file a complaint 15 months later and what punishment could be enforced by the Medical Board. I mostly want her to be quiet and to retract her statement ... maybe pay a fine to the board to teach her a lesson she cannot do this.

Lawsuits and disputes topics

Top tips from attorneys

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics