Employers and individuals can be subject to defamation lawsuits in Texas and around the country based on certain factors. However, there is a potential defense known as qualified privilege. If you have been named in a defamation suit, you will want to know what this means and how it can work to your advantage.
What is defamation?
Defamation is a way that one person can harm the reputation of another by making false statements about them. It can occur by way of libel, which refers to statements made in writing, or slander, which involves spoken statements.
Per defamation law, if a person believes their reputation has been defamed, they can initiate a civil lawsuit. That person has the burden of proof and must prove that the defendant has made statements that are damaging to their reputation.
What is qualified privilege and how does it work as a defense?
In defamation law, qualified privilege gives immunity to certain people in a defamation lawsuit. Qualified immunity means that a person or entity is protected against a defamation lawsuit after making statements about another that are free of malice.
If the statement that has been made was made in good faith and while they believed it to be true, qualified immunity may be used as a valid defense for a defamation lawsuit. Often, this defense can be used by former employers when they are used as a reference while the former employee is seeking a new job. Members of the press also often use qualified privilege as a defense.
Similarly, businesses cannot bring defamation lawsuits against people for leaving a critical review. If that criticism is fair and warranted, qualified privilege would apply. Statements made to warn other people of danger or those made in self-defense can also use qualified privilege.
However, in a defamation lawsuit, if it can be proven that the defendant’s statement was made maliciously, the qualified privilege defense cannot be used
Protect your reputation and call a Texas Defamation Lawyer Immediately!!!!