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What information is needed to sue for slander? Does this situation qualify?

Katy, TX |

A former room mate and co-worker has decided to contact people at the companies she knew I was applying for to tell them that I am currently a stoner (I have not touched any marijuana in over a year) and that I am lazy and don't do my work. She is also the reason that I have lost my last job. Before she left, she blamed everything that went wrong on me and made the ground work for me to get fired only 2 months after her departure. Her friends had continued the head hunt.

Since I have proof of all of this, can I get her for slander? She has cost me many, many jobs now and has made me lose the respect of family (she also lied to them). She is threatening to call CPS with supposed proof (a picture of two of HER marijuana pipes on her kitchen counter) and get my daughter taken away.

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Attorney answers 3


Do have a viable lawsuit, you need damages. For defamation, your reputation needs to have been effected and have caused loss or injury.

Our office accepts clients off of Avvo, but this initial impression is not protected by any privilege, is not attorney-client communication and you should consult a lawyer promptly about any legal matter.



I know for a fact that two companies were going to hire me until she spoke to them. She openly admitted she had contacted them. I do have communications stating that they were going to hire me. I also have evidence (emails, recorded phone calls, etc) from my previous job that she is the reason why I had been let go from that job.


I am sorry to read of your troubles. And I understand your desire for justice. But know that a defamation suit is an arduous and expensive affair. And sometimes even with the truth on your side, you can still lose. Without substantial damages, it may not be worthwhile.

The author of this answer is an Attorney-at-Law, licensed to practice law only in the state of Arizona. Unless both you and the author have signed a formal retainer agreement, you are not the author's client, and the author's discussion of issues does not constitute legal advice. Opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author, and are neither privileged nor confidential.



What would be considered substantial damages?


You may have a decent claim for defamation here but there are two things to consider:

1. How will you recover? My guess is your former roommate doesn't have a lot of money so even if you win at trial you won't have a way to collect judgment, which means all the time and money suing her may not make a difference; and

2. If you were getting high and that comes out to CPS or the other parent of your child then that could negatively affect your custody situation. Is it worth filing suit and making that information public to try to get some money out of her? I don't know much about your situation but that is something to figure out before taking legal action against your former roommate.



I was NOT getting high. I had not touched the stuff in over a year's time and she had claimed that she saw me smoking daily only a week prior to the first claim.

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