How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Ash Your Own Question
Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
75100385
Type Your Law Question Here...
Ash is online now

Defamation: If a group of people collective defame you, (Lets

Customer Question

Defamation: If a group of people collective defame you, (Lets say a board of directors) A letter is issued saying you stole something, caused something etc.

The letter would be signed in this instance - Yours, The board of directors, Company ABC

Now supposing that letter is sent to all staff, then to all customers. Then suppose an actual director were to read that letter out, to a group of visitors to the company for example.

Forget the test for effectiveness, suppose it was judged to be serious harm - You essentially would have, Libel from the company, libel from the (collective) directors and finally Slander from the director reading to a group.

My Question is:- Can you litigate against each party individually, the company, the directors (group) the directors individually, the individual director that read it out -as a separate further offence..

Would the result (compensation) be pro rota - in proportion of responsibility, or does each one count as a separate offence?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.

Alex Watts :

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply as this is not an ‘on demand’ live service, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return. There is no need to wait here, you will get an email when I reply.

Alex Watts :

Generally you could sue the Company as the Company is vicariously liable for the actions of its Directors

Alex Watts :

But there is nothing to stop you having the Company as First Defendant, then the Directors as separate Defendants

Alex Watts :

So if you want, yes you can name several people in one action

Alex Watts :

But if it was in the course of business generally the Company would be liable

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer:

Can I specifically name the director who later read out the letter? As a separate action (further Slander) and would any result compensation be divided between the defendants to pay proportionally?

Alex Watts :

Yes you can but it should all be in one action, not separate actions

Alex Watts :

The Judge can then decide who can pay costs and what %

Alex Watts :

Does that clarify?

Customer:

I would like to argue Malicious Falsehood in that the director that read out to a group of people did so maliciously and is therefore personally liable, for their actions.

Customer:

would that be possible?

Alex Watts :

That is possible

Customer:

So to compound the questions (as this is likely to be settled anyway - as they do) it would be quite proper to issue say several letters before action - to several entities, and specific individual requiring multiple apologies etc..

Alex Watts :

Yes you can do that

Customer:

Leaving an action if an individual dose not specifically apologies pay etc.. directly issuing action at them

Alex Watts :

Yes if you wish

Customer:

You ca not argue the company apologized that's good enough?

Alex Watts :

It is possible but if you have suffered a loss you can still take action

Alex Watts :

Does that help?

Customer:

Yes - a lot..

Alex Watts :

If this answers your question might I invite you to rate my answer

Alex Watts :

If the system wont let you please do say

Alex Watts :

If you need further help please click reply

Customer:

Final Q. Company pays £1,000,000 (whatever) and places banner of apology.

Customer:

Can the individual still be pursued for their personal apology - damages?

Alex Watts :

Right

Ash and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.
If you can show you have suffered a GREATER loss than the remedy then yes.

Alex
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

So to clarify - Lets say a business says you stole something (you are not arrested or convicted) so you are innocent?


(This is not actually what happened)


 


Five people in that business tell different people you did, Five of the people tell another five people you are a thief - one specific person reads a letter at an open meeting stating you are a thief or you stole X


 


Word gets around and you can show you lost say £5Million pounds of businesses in contracts.


 


Q. If business A pays you £5m in compensation is that the end of it and you have no further claims on anyone?


 


Can you still claim against person Y or can they hide behind the "business has paid" you losses have been recovered.


 


Or can you you still seek separate a claim for deliberately reading out the letter?


 


I assume you cant Sue everybody for £5mllion each?

Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.
No you can't you could only claim actual losses. You can't profit from it,

Alex
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The question simply is if you actually want to make a specific (main) person pay\apologise can you force this? or can they get the company to resolve matters hide behind "its resolved" (company paid full damages) and never be liable?


 


Can you only accept say £4m from the company and leave room of £1m to go for them - is this vengeful perhaps! but can you do it?



Equally do you have privilege in the accusation? you accuse someone of deformation because they wanted to achieve Y ? Conversely are you not defaming someone with the accusation?

Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.
It depends who you sue. If you sue the individual then it is up to you whether or not you settle.