The slander per se definition is a legal term describing a defamatory statement that is communicated through a fixed medium. It is considered harmful on its face. Unlike other types of lawsuits, slander per se does not require a plaintiff to show special damages. Examples of slander per se include false statements about a person's business or profession and statements that are untrue about a person's moral turpitude or unchastity. Personal Injury attorney
In some cases, a slander claim can be brought without proof of a defendant's intent. In one case, a publicity agent continued to use the employer's stationery after she was fired and lied to multiple people. In another case, a publicity agent libelously claimed that his employer was a criminal who had beaten his wife. The plaintiff did not need to prove he suffered emotional distress, merely that the statement harmed her reputation.
Under the Rosenberg & Sons v. Craft decision, slander per se has four categories. The words used must be inflammatory and have the effect of inciting hatred or resentment. In addition, the words must have the effect of preventing the party from performing the duty of their office. A slanderous utterance can also lead to a dismissal of one's business or profession.
Although a person may use a false statement to attack another, there must be a defamatory connotation to be actionable. In a case where the defendant's purpose was to ruin another person's reputation, the defendant could cast the words used as insinuation, leaving room for unintended innocent meaning. A libel per se case is a legal case that must be pursued.
Damages awarded for defamation can be monetary or symbolic. General damages cover damages for past and future harm to the plaintiff's reputation. Special damages are awarded for specific economic losses, such as a lost job or loss of profits. The plaintiff may also be awarded punitive damages. Although defamation per se cases rarely involve money, the plaintiff will usually receive damages for the emotional and psychological distress it has suffered.
The burden of proof is on the defendant to prove that the statement was true. This defense is known as "fair comment," and it applies in most cases. In cases involving public figures, it is necessary to prove that the person making the statement was not only unaware of the defamation but also intentionally or recklessly defamed the other party. In this case, the plaintiff's defamatory statement must have been true.
Libel is a more serious form of defamation. It is the assertion of a false statement, whereas slander does not. It is also more severe than libel because the victim's reputation is at stake. In addition to this, there are many other legal defenses available to a defendant. If the victim is not able to prove their innocence, the defendant may be liable for damages.