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Question 3 - Essay Example

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Damage Claims for Damaged Reputation Alice, driven by the desire to share her wealth and good fortune with her fellowmen, founded the world-renowned ‘University of the One-World Religion’. Given her financial and social stature, Alice has an honorable reputation to keep…
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Download file to see previous pages Alice has valid and stable grounds to support a legal action for defamation which, as defined in Black’s Law Dictionary, is “an intentional false communication, either published or publicly spoken, that injures another's reputation or good name. Holding up of a person to ridicule, scorn or contempt in a respectable and considerable part of the community; may be criminal as well as civil. Includes both libel and slander. Defamation is that which tends to injure reputation; to diminish the esteem, respect, goodwill or confidence in which the plaintiff is held, or to excite adverse, derogatory or unpleasant feelings or opinions against him. Statement which exposes person to contempt, hatred, ridicule or obloquy. McGowen v. Prentice, La.App., 341 So.2d 55, 57 (La. 3d Cir. Ct. App. 1976) rehearing denied Jan. 26, 1977. The unprivileged publication of false statements which naturally and proximately result in injury to another. Wolfson v. Kirk, Fla.App., 273 So.2d 774, 776 (Fla. 4th DCA 1973) [Inman and Inman 1996]. The first party-defendant would be the disillusioned scholar Usma who communicated her false and fabricated story to Bob. She maliciously painted a vicious and spiteful character of Alice without any offer of proof to her accusations. Such imputation of vice and defect against the founder of the school which provided her with free education and accommodation has caused great injury to the reputation of Alice. Aptly, Bob is also liable because as a journalist, he has the professional and moral obligation to publish only the verified facts and a fair comment thereon. He relied solely on the allegations of his source and intentionally failed to substantiate the same with evidence. It has been settled that, “To say that a man's conduct was dishonourable is not a simple statement of fact. It is a comment coupled with an allegation of unspecified conduct upon which the comment is based. A defamatory comment about a person will almost always be based, either expressly or inferentially, on conduct on the part of that person” [Spiller & Anor v Joseph & Ors [2010] UKSC 53 (01 December 2010)]. The third party from whom Alice can validly claim for damages is the London Reporter newspaper and all those who have active charge of Bob’s story including news editors, the editor-in-chief and the publisher. Bob’s editors have been negligent in their duties when they allowed the defamatory story to be published and circulated to the reading public. They published a story without first verifying the facts or at least requiring Bob to check the veracity his sources. As a matter of fact, publishers are even “liable for statements which they believed to be true and which they published without negligence. A plaintiff merely has to show that the statement was directed at her, has a defamatory meaning, and was published by the defendant. British law presumes the falsity of the disputed statement and places the burden of proving truth on the defendant…” [O’Carroll 2009]. Alice can rightly demand for damages without reservations on the fact that she is already very wealthy and some of the defendants are charity cases. She may demand the exact amount that is due to her in consideration of her reputation because “…a man defamed does not get compensation for his damaged reputation. He gets damages because he was injured in his reputation, that is simply because he was publicly defamed. For this reason, compensation by damages ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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