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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 75108
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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If someone verbally threatens to sue you for deformation of

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If someone verbally threatens to sue you for deformation of character, is it prudent to produce a formal written statement to deny their claim in order to ‘get ahead of it’ and discourage action? Or is it wiser to wait so that if it was an empty threat designed to intimidate you don’t risk inflaming the situation further?

Hello, I’m Ben. It’s my pleasure to assist you today. I may also ask for some preliminary information to help me determine the legal position.

On what grounds are they looking to sue? Please note this is not always an instant service and I may not be able to reply immediately. However, rest assured that I am dealing with your question and will get back to you as soon as I can. Thanks

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
The threat was open (“I’ll personally sue you if the contents of this report is made public”) but I suspect the only possible case would be defamation of character.However, as the report in question did not identify this individual by name, nor relate to their conduct/actions, I do not believe it would qualify?The report does say that the Board would need to take specific actions to avoid risk of liability — and the person threatening to sue is a member of the Board — but the report only talks about the actions of the Board in a future tense.I suspect the threat to sue is based upon the premise that if the company falls into disrepute due to the contents of the report becoming known then she as an individual would sue me. But my understanding is that she would not be able to do this as an individual (due to the report not being about her/identifying her) and only the company could file a case against me. Is this correct?Moreover, I believe for anyone to successfully sue, not only would the report have to be made available to a third party, but the contents would have to be proven factually incorrect — is that accurate?

Thank you very much for clarifying. First of all, I am sorry to hear about the issues you have experienced in your situation.

There is nothing stopping you from replying with a detailed rebuttal of the allegations and trying to make it clear that actual legal action will be futile. However, that does not guarantee that anything will come out of it so until you have done it and seen what effect it has, you simply would not know. At the same time, you have nothing to lose by submitting such a response and you may as well do it, to give yourself the best chance of trying to deal with this successfully.

Hopefully, I have answered your query in a way that is simple and easy to understand. If anything remains unclear, I will be more than happy to clarify it for you. In the meantime, thank you once again for using our services.

Hello, I trust that everything has now been resolved to your satisfaction and your original question has been dealt with. If you have any further queries about it, please do not hesitate to get back to me on here. In the meantime, I wish you all the best.

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