ch 9 - Types of Torts three types of tort 1- liability...

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Types of Torts three types of tort 1- liability include intentional torts: A- The Intentional Torts: A-1-Defamation: Defamation is an untrue statement made by one party to another about a third party. It consists of either slander or libel; slander is oral or spoken defamation, and libel is written (or, in some cases, broadcast) defamation. The elements for defamation are: 1. A statement about a person’s reputation, honesty, or integrity that is untrue Defamation requires that whatever is said or written be communicated to a third party 2. Publication Defamation requires that whatever is said or written be communicated to a third party. 3. A statement that is directed at a particular person To qualify as defamation, the statement made must be about an individual or a small enough group that all in the group are affected. For example, the general statement “All accountants are frauds” is too broad to be defamatory. But the statement “All the Andersen audit partners who worked on the Enron accounts were dishonest” is specific enough to meet this requirement. 4. Damages The person who is defamed must be able to establish damages, such as lost business, lost profits, lost advertising, lost reputation, or some economic effect that has resulted from the defamatory statements. 5. In some cases, proof of malice Malice must be proved in defamation cases that involve public figures. Public figures are those voluntarily in the public eye, such as elected officials, recording artists, actors, sports figures, and media magnets (think Paris Hilton). A-2- The Defenses to Defamation 1-Truth. A statement may be damaging, but, if it is the truth, it is not defamation. For example, you could publicly disclose that your boss took LSD during the late 1960s when he was in college. The remark might hurt your employer’s reputation, but if it is the truth, it is not the tort of defamation despite the harm it may do to him. 2- Opinion and Analysis. One of the current issues in defamation cases is whether the statements made are protected when they are a columnist’s analysis of a situation. Courts are trying to determine what level of protection is given for viewpoints when someone objects to the conclusions drawn rather than the statements of fact. A fine line is often all that separates statements of fact from expressions of opinion. In business publications, those opinions can be devastating to companies and their stock performance. 3- Privileged Speech.
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Some speech is privileged; that is, strong public interest supports protecting the speech regardless of whether it is true. In addition to the requirement of proving malice when public figures are involved, the media also have a qualified privilege. If the news organization prints a retraction of a published statement, it has a defense to defamation. Contract Interference
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This note was uploaded on 10/28/2011 for the course BUSINESS ACCT 305 taught by Professor Poletti during the Spring '09 term at DeVry Columbus North.

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ch 9 - Types of Torts three types of tort 1- liability...

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