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Could I be sued if...

 
 
Reply Thu 17 Jul, 2008 05:01 pm
I posted in a forum that the the only reason I could think of for a company not giving me a refund is that they may be having financial problems. I honestly believe this. Can they sue me?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 2 • Views: 1,044 • Replies: 4
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jespah
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Jul, 2008 05:07 pm
It's your opinion. You have freedom of speech.

Now, this opinion of mine is worth what you paid for it. If this really, really concerns you, seek the advice of counsel.
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cabrunis
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Jul, 2008 09:05 am
Thanks you. I have a feeling it is just a threat and they have not received any legal advice at all.
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sullyfish6
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 Aug, 2008 03:22 pm
They'd have to show "damages" done to them by your statement.

In writing, it is called libel.
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joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Aug, 2008 12:45 am
Re: Could I be sued if...
cabrunis wrote:
I posted in a forum that the the only reason I could think of for a company not giving me a refund is that they may be having financial problems. I honestly believe this. Can they sue me?

Of course the company can sue you. It can sue you for anything. Whether the company can win if it sues you is another question entirely.

Falsely accusing a company of having financial problems is not one of the categories of defamation per se (unless you asserted that the company was engaging in fraudulent or otherwise illegal activities), so the company would have to prove that it suffered actual damages as a result of your statements. That won't be easy for the company to prove, but it's certainly not impossible. And it may be no defense that you honestly believed you were telling the truth.

Without knowing more about your situation, I can only offer these rough outlines. In the vast majority of cases, these sorts of threats regarding statements made in internet forums are largely that: threats. Some companies, however, take these sorts of things very seriously, and are willing to follow through with legal action. Asserting that a company is having financial problems can be a very serious accusation, and you might want to think twice before making the same kind of statement in the future without some solid evidence.
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