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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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There, I was dealing with a difficult customer and in a

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Hi there, I was dealing with a difficult customer and in a private email to the manufacturer i wrote "please can you deal with this issue as a priority as its for a very awkward customer" By mistake this email conversation got sent to the customer and
now they have opened a claim against me for £1,000 through the small claims court. They are suing me for "slander". Please confirm 1. Should i fear this case as surly this would never stand up in court. 2. What should i say as part of my defence to get me
out of this bizarre claim? please confirm, thanks Michael
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified solicitor and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Has the claim actually been issued formally?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Ben, yes I have revived court paperwork. Customer is claiming £500 for the sofa which has developed a fault (but customer would not allow us to inspect) and £1,000 for slander because I said she was "a very awkward customer" thanks
It is a rather opportunistic claim for slander I must say. For this to amount to defamation (this includes libel if it is in written form, or slander if it is in oral form),certain conditions must be met. 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. You can see that it is unlikely that all of these will be satisfied and I do not expect the court to agree it was a defamatory statement and to award compensation. So I would not really worry about this too much. You should simply deny it in your defence and make it clear that it does not meet the criteria for defamation and that it was just a personal opinion expressed in private – it was not published and it would have no bearings on the customer’s reputation so no harm has been done there. I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating 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
Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this? If your query has been dealt with please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts from the top of the page. If you need further help please get back to me on here and I will assist as best as I can. Thank you.
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