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Are Slander and Libel Intentional Torts?

Written by Ankin Law Office

Slander and libel are both forms of defamation, which is an intentional tort. Most personal injury, or tort, claims involve allegations of negligence, or the failure to exercise the care that a reasonable person would use under the same circumstances. Intentional torts, on the other hand, are a type of personal injury claim, in which the defendant acted intentionally.

Slander is verbal defamation, whereas libel is written defamation, but both are forms of defamation are intentional torts. Under Illinois law, a defamation lawsuit (whether libel or slander) must allege the following:

  1. a false statement was made about the plaintiff;
  2. the false statement was communicated to a third party without the permission of the plaintiff;
  3. the defendant knew that the statement was false and/or lacked a reasonable belief that it was true; and
  4. the plaintiff was damaged or injured by the communication of the false statement.

Under Illinois law, certain statements – whether written statements (libel) or verbal statements (slander) – are considered to be so egregious that they will amount to defamation per se and the plaintiff does not need to prove that he or she was actually harmed by the statement.  Examples of defamation per se include statements that accuse another of a crime, indicate that a person is infected with a loathsome communicable disease, or indicate that a person is unable to perform his or her job or accuses a person of adultery.

Personal injury laws, including intentional torts and negligence, include strict statutes of limitation, or time limits that govern when a person can file a lawsuit. Accordingly, if you have been the victim of slander, libel or other intentional tort, it is important that you promptly consult with an experienced Illinois personal injury attorney like the Chicago defamation attorneys at Ankin Law Office, LLC.

If you have been the victim of a slanderous or libelous statement, contact one of our Chicago intentional tort attorneys at (312) 600-0000 to learn more about how we can help you pursue your defamation intentional tort claim.

Categories: Personal Injury