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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 48152
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I have been accused of inappropriate touching, personal

Resolved Question:

Hi , I have been accused of inappropriate touching, personal training and inappropriate behaviour at my local gym.
I absolutely deny and refute these allegations and accusations. They were made by the gym manager, in the hallway of the gym with gym members passing by.
Following a telephone call later that afternoon , 29 April, Chris, the gym manager informed me he had evidence of his accusations, and that his staff would back him up. He also said if I was not satisfied with his actions then I should "maybe train elsewhere". I felt that was an underhand threat.
A letter of complaint has been answered but only says sorry for any embarrassment caused.
I simply do not accept this, especially the "inappropriate touching" allegation, which in my opinion is very serious. I am very concerned about these allegations , and worry about rumours and gossip in the gym.
Am I able to pursue this matter legally even though I have made a written complaint?
Thank You for help and advice.
C. Nicholls
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Please can you tell me whether you have raised any formal complaints and how long you have been employed there?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello Ben.
I am not employed by anyone. I am retired and have been for 8 years. I am a gym member
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
OK, thank you for your response. I will review the relevant information and laws and will get back to you as soon as I can. Please do not respond to this message as it will just push your question to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Many thanks for your patience. Whilst this may appear to be a potential case of defamation (this includes libel if it is in written form, or slander if it is in oral form), such claims are extremely difficult to pursue. Many people are intent on suing for defamation without having any appreciation of the law behind them, so I will try and clear things up for you now. First of all, certain conditions must be met for the statement to be classified as defamatory. These are: 1. The statement has to be untrue.2. It must directly identify the complainant.3. It must have been published, usually communicated to at least another person.4. It must be in a form of words, which would tend to lower the claimant in the estimation of ‘right thinking members of society generally', expose the claimant to hatred, contempt or ridicule, or cause the claimant to be shunned or avoided.5. Its publication has caused or is likely to cause serious harm to the reputation of the claimant. Whilst it may be easy to prove that defamation has occurred, the legal process of pursuing such a claim is extremely complex and expensive. As this goes through the High Court, you would need the professional help of specialist defamation solicitors and the costs are undoubtedly going to run into the thousands right at the outset. Also there is no legal aid available for such claims so the complainant must fund these personally. So when you hear about defamation claims being made, these are usually pursued by big corporations or celebrities who have a public image to protect. You must also consider whether the party alleged of making the defamatory statement can defend the claim. Even if you satisfy the criteria to prove the statement was defamatory it could be defended on a number of grounds, including by providing evidence that the statement was substantially true or an honest opinion. There is of course nothing stopping you from contacting the other party and threatening them that what they have done amounts to defamation and that you will consider pursuing the matter further if they do not retract their statement. This could prompt them to reconsider their position, but I would not recommend that you actually proceed with a claim for defamation due to the issues highlighted above. I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (3, 4 or 5 stars) as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you Ben.
I have no intention of making a claim in court on this issue. My concern is that rumours and gossip persist.
I asked for a retraction of these allegations but basically received an appology for embarrasment caused, which does not really address my complaint.
Am I able to ask for "evidence" proving these allegations against me, if no evidence can be provided, and i am sure it cannot be, can i insist on a "total retraction" of the allegations.
Thank You
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello there, I understand that a claim is not your route of choice but the simple threat of doing that, even if you had no intentions whatsoever to do it, would be useful in trying to resolve this. It should make it clear that you are taking the natter very seriously and as mentioned could prompt them to issue an apology, retract any statements made, etc. You can ask for evidence but cannot force them to provide such. So if they fail to provide any, you may indeed ask for a total retraction but again you cannot force them to do that. In reality no one can force them to do that, not even a court, a court can only award damages or an injunction to prevent further publication, but not even they can force an apology or a retraction of the statements. If your original question has been answered I would be grateful if you could please quickly rate my answer by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page - it only takes a second to do and is an important part of our process. I can still answer follow up questions afterwards if needed. Thank you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Ben,
One last question, i hope. If i was to proceed with legal action can the case be heard in another court? ie family or magistrates court.
Or can I request a meeting with all parties concerned and have a solicitor with me, to hopefully win a full retraction of the allegations.
Thank You
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
No this has nothing to do with these courts, it must be the High Court for defamation. You are of course able to request some sort of mediation but the issue is that this is entirely voluntary so you cannot force them to participate, but you have nothing to lose by at least trying and making it look like this is your 'compromise' instead of taking legal action. Hope this clarifies?
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