There are several factors that contribute to a reputable business, such as:

  • Being trustworthy
  • Offering value
  • Providing a good user experience
  • Serving the community

On the other hand, a competitor or an unsatisfied party can cause loss of trust among customers and burdensome financial implications to a business by expressing false or malicious statements about the establishment.

As a result, it is integral that you hire a Florida business defamation attorney to present a defamation claim to court. 

In this article, you will discover how to handle business defamation in Florida.

Understanding the Concept of Business Defamation

Defamation includes any false statement(s) that hurts the reputation of another party. A business owner, however, reserves their right to sue in the case that such statement(s) has indeed injured their company’s reputation.

As a victim of defamation, the business owner must determine whether the case meets the foundational components of legally actionable defamation before proceeding with legal action.

In such case, the plaintiff must prove that:

  • A false statement(s) was made regarding the business.
  • The false statement(s) was communicated to other parties.
  • The false statement(s) was defamatory.
  • The false statement(s) caused damage.

 Understanding the Legality of Business Defamation

In the case Near v. Minnesota, 283 U.S. 697, 708 (1931), the United States Supreme Court established that freedom of speech “is not an absolute right, and the State may punish its abuse.” In other words, the First Amendment will not protect defamatory statements as freedom of speech.

However, Florida courts have set a high standard of proof for defamation plaintiffs over the years, particularly because of the First Amendment’s protection of freedom of speech. 

Because business defamation cases require thorough evaluation and a meticulous approach, they are complex. 

On occasion, some businesses may mistake a negative opinion for a false statement; however, an opinion is not a legally actionable form of defamation – even if it causes harm to your business. For instance, a company cannot sue another party for writing a bad review or stating that a product/service is not worth the money.

What Makes a Defamatory Act Legally Actionable?

A legally actionable defamatory act against a business must involve a negligent or malicious false statement. 

For example, suppose a restaurant critic posted a review on Facebook about the food’s poor taste. Although the claims may or may not be true, the critic’s opinion cannot be proven since it is not a statement of fact.  

On the other hand, suppose the restaurant critic posted a review on Facebook claiming that the business failed food safety inspections. Because this statement is a factual claim, it may be defamatory. 

Taking Legal Action

To determine if there is evidence of business defamation, it is crucial that you hire an expert attorney in Florida. If there is, the business may be entitled to compensation in court. 

Oftentimes, the damages can vary depending on the injuries caused by the defamatory statements, such as profit loss or income loss. 

Business Defamation in Florida – We Can Help You

If you are filing a lawsuit for business defamation in Florida, you need the guidance and assistance of qualified and experienced business attorneys

At Jurado & Associates, P.A., we can help you with every aspect of incorporation, from choosing a name and filing articles of incorporation to drafting bylaws and issuing shares. We have the knowledge and expertise to help you make the best decisions for your business.

Contact us today by phone at (305) 921-0976, by email at [email protected], or by WhatsApp at +1 (305) 921-0976.