An impeccable reputation is vital for a business to succeed. If someone knowingly publicized false statements about your company, you may be able to take legal action.

A litigation case is a form of defamation occurring when someone makes a claim about your establishment that you may prove is false. Understanding what is necessary for going forward with a claim can be important if you believe your business is suffering because of defamation.

Making a trade libel claim

When another business or customer makes statements about your business that are untrue, it is a form of defamation known as trade libel. There are specific aspects of defamation that qualify it as trade libel:

  • You (as the plaintiff) are a business entity
  • The defendant’s false statement focused on the quality of a service or product
  • Your business suffered financial loss because of the statement
  • The defendant made the untrue statement public

Proving the statement was untrue

It is vital to be able to prove that the statement made was false and disparaging. If it is possible to prove the complaint was accurate, the case is not trade libel. In addition, you need to show that the defendant was not just voicing an opinion but presenting the falsehood as a fact.

Proving you suffered monetary loss

A key aspect of a trade libel case is you need to be able to prove that your business suffered due to the defendant’s statement. Unlike libel where damage and loss may be emotional, trade libel necessitates that you experienced monetary loss with your business. Evidence of how this situation caused you to lose customers or sales can be most useful.

Understanding the statute of limitations

In California, a trade libel case has a statute of limitations of two years, unless the claim involves property, and then the limitation is three years. If you believe you have a case for trade libel, discussing your case with legal counsel may be the appropriate next step for you.