Your company might find itself the target of unfair competition from business rivals in the form of slander or defamation. These situations are tricky to handle because, particularly in the area of online defamation, it can be hard to prove the identity of who was behind the unethical or illegal conduct. Still, you might have legal options for getting the defamatory content removed and punishing the wrongdoer.
This blog will discuss how to defend your company from unfair competition in the form of slander and false accusations. You will want to work with a South Carolina business attorney if you find yourself in this situation.
How to Prove Defamation of Your Company
Business competitors often bad mouth their rivals, but defamation rises to another level. Defamation can harm the reputation of your company and cause you to lose money. You will have to prove these elements to win a defamation lawsuit:
- The defendant said or wrote something that was spoken to another person or written in something that got “published.” The publication can be as simple as an online review or comment.
- The defendant’s words were false.
- The defendant’s words were not in a category that gets privileged treatment.
- The defendant’s words caused harm to your company.
You will want to preserve the evidence of the slander or defamation to the best of your ability because the defendant will likely deny the conduct. In the case of online content, you will want to take screenshots and print hard copies of the statements.
For spoken defamatory statements, you will want to write down as many details as you know, like the date of the statements, the content of what the defendant said, the people to whom the defendant spoke, and any other information you know.
Getting the Defamatory Content Removed
Websites and social media platforms usually allow people to file a request for removal of defamatory content. They might not take action as quickly as you would like, but they could take your request for removal more seriously if your lawyer requests the removal of the false content.
Punishing the Competitor Who Slandered or Defamed Your Company
The challenge of taking action to punish the competitor who is unfairly targeting your business is the relative ease of anonymity online. A competitor can set up a fake profile to use when posting negative reviews about your business. They can get friends or employees to post false content for them. There are even shady organizations that provide “bad reviews” services for hire.
If you can, however, unmask the competitor who has defamed your company, you might be able to sue them for defamation, slander, and unfair or deceptive business practices. Your potential recovery could include fines, actual damages for the economic harm to your company, mental distress, or punitive damages.
You can talk with a South Carolina business attorney about handling your unfair competition case that involves slander or defamation of your company and the money damages and other legal options you might have in your situation. For help with your case reach out to our office today.