A Tennessee woman is learning the hard way that there can be consequences for comments posted online.
Kelly Beavers was extremely disappointed by a doctor’s care and called him “unprofessional” and “unethical” in a Yelp review.He’s filed a defamation suit for $25,000.00.
Social media and customer recommendations have become so ubiquitous in modern culture it’s easy to lose sight of the responsibilities that come with free speech.Attorney Chris Tritico of Tritico Rainey law firm in Houston says you can use whatever words you want, as long as they are truthful.“If they’re not true, then you’re subject to being sued for defamation and losing that case,” he says.
Here’s how the law dictionary defines defamation: “What is defamation?
Generally, defamation is a false and unprivileged statement of fact that is harmful to someone's reputation, and published "with fault," meaning as a result of negligence or malice. State laws often define defamation in specific ways. Libel is a written defamation; slander is a spoken defamation.”
Last week Elon Musk defeated a claim of defamation from a British cave explorer whom Musk called a “pedo guy,” the jury saying prosecutors didn’t present enough evidence.
“If you say something that is defamatory, that is something that is false or negative about somebody or some entity, you may be held liable for that in court,” Tritico warns.
Remember that next time you’re in the mood to rant on Twitter.