Business Torts

 

Think before you speak. A horse buyer who made false accusations against a seller-breeder was held liable for damages, including punitive damages. Because the defamatory statements were made to industry members with a common interest in the statements, the plaintiff-seller had to, and did, prove that the defendant-buyer made the statements with actual malice. Actual malice exists when the false statement is motivated by hatred or ill-will or when the speaker (or the writer in the case of libel) lacks a good faith belief in the truth of the statement being made. (Lundquist v. Reusser (1994) 7 Cal.4th 1193.)


| Home | Back |