A corporation can be defamed just like a person, however, there are unique challenges and considerations where the defamed party is a corporation that are important to be aware of. The main difference is with respect to how the Court will approach damages vis-à-vis a corporate plaintiff. Continue reading Corporate Damages for Defamation
The threshold in Canada for a finding of defamation is not particularly stringent. In order to prove defamation (libel or slander) against a particular defendant, a plaintiff must show on the balance of probabilities that: the statements were made to a third party, the words lowered the plaintiff’s reputation, and the words must be reasonably understood by others in a defamatory sense. Continue reading The Defence of “Fair Comment”
In an action for defamation a plaintiff may be entitled to an award for the following types of damages: (a) general, (b) special, (c) aggravated, and (d) punitive. Continue reading Types of Damages in Defamation Actions
Ontario’s Libel and Slander Act contains certain notice and claim requirements and deadlines which, if not followed, will act as a bar against any potential action for defamation. In particular:
- Section 5(1) provides that no action for libel in a “newspaper” or in a “broadcast” lies unless a plaintiff, within six weeks after the alleged libel has come to the plaintiff’s knowledge, gives written notice to the defendant.
- Section 6, for its part, states that an action for a libel in a “newspaper” or in a “broadcast” must be commenced within three months after the libel has come to the knowledge of the person defamed.
The Court of Appeal has appropriately stated that “pleadings in defamation cases are more important than in any other class of actions”.[note]Lysko v. Braley, 2006 CanLII 11846 (ON CA) at para 91[/note] This is because the law contains technical requirements for pleading defamation as a cause of action that must be strictly adhered to. A misstep here or a misstep there can invalidate your claim.
[…] the Internet is also potentially a medium of virtually limitless international defamation [emphasis added].
– R.A. Blair J.A., Ontario Court of Appeal quoting Matthew Collins, The Law of Defamation and the Internet (Oxford University Press, 2001)
The hay day for people to retreat to the internet and anonymously and publicly defame others behind a veil of secrecy, without feat of liability, are coming to an end. Continue reading Damages for Online Defamation
The internet has changed a lot of things. Not the least of which is the amount, frequency and scope of defamation. This article outlines the impact of the internet on peoples’ ability to defame and be defamed, and touches on how to track down, identify, and sue defaming individuals.