The law of defamation generally protects individuals, but corporations under a certain size can often have a cause of action (e.g. the Defamation Act 2005 NSW provides that a corporation with fewer than 10 employees and unrelated to another corporation, or a corporation not formed for financial gain may have a cause of action for defamation).
There are a number of elements to be met before a case can be made out, however, finding yourself mired in a Court case can be an extremely expensive and time consuming exercise.
Even having a valid defence can be expensive: you may successful run a truth defence, but if you cannot enforce a costs order then you may still be significantly out of pocket.
It is best to avoid the argument altogether by making sure that anything you post can not be construed as being able to harm the reputation and good name of the person (or small business).
One couple that found this out the hard way had shared on facebook that a neighbour (with whom they had been in a dispute with over his dogs) was “known to police” and “may or may not be related to satan”.
Check out the article from the Sydney Morning Herald here.
The judge found that defamatory imputations had been published, and awarded a verdict of over $14,000. However, with various other “side issues” involved in the proceedings (including arguments in Court over timing of apologies and other interlocutory skirmishes), the defendants’ legal bill exceeded $80,000 and placed them in peril of bankruptcy.
If you think a post or review is defamatory, you can contact us and we can give you some options.
If the material is trivial, it may be a good PR exercise to ask the poster to take down the post and see what you can do to mend the customer relationship.
At other times, it may be that a cease and desist letter is warranted.
“Within 1 month, Ian had the matter resolved and negotiate a settlement for me.”
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