Chicago Defamation (Libel / Slander) - The Chicago Personal Injury Law Blog

The Chicago Personal Injury Law Blog

Defamation (Libel / Slander) in Chicago

Defamation at the most basic level involves harm to a person's reputation. Defamation can take one of two forms: libel or slander. Libel refers to defamatory statements that are written or published; slander refers to defamatory statements that are said out loud.

This area of law has evolved considerably given the kind of technological advances we’ve seen the past few years. Facebook disses, comment trolling, mean tweets, and all the other questionable things people say about each other online, usually fall under these laws.

If you feel that another person has harmed your reputation because of statements that were written or said out loud, you may be able to recover in court. A Chicago Personal Injury lawyer can help you understand if you have a personal injury case.


Recently in Defamation (Libel / Slander) Category

ABC Jabs Back in 'Pink Slime' Libel Lawsuit

Anyone remember that “pink slime” nonsense that happened earlier this year? ABC reported on some gross-looking beef (though if it was strawberry soft-serve, we’d be down) and then every other outlet picked up the story. Eventually, companies fled from the supplier en masse and the supplier filed for bankruptcy.

The meat product was perfectly legal and posed no health risks by the way.

Last month, Beef Products, Inc. sued ABC for defamation on the theory that coining their product “pink slime” misled consumers into believing that the product was unhealthy and unsafe. ABC’s month-long coverage, which included 11 broadcasts, 14 online reports, and social media coverage, allegedly led to BPI losing over 80 percent of its business.

'Pink Slime' Maker Accuses ABC, Others of Sliming Them Unfairly

The wave of outrage over the widespread use of pink slime came quick and came hard for Beef Products Inc., the company behind the lean, finely-textured beef nicknamed "pink slime." In a matter of 28 days, the heavy news coverage, spearheaded by ABC News, accused the company of manufacturing and selling a possibly unsafe product and nearly put them out of business, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.

Mega-corporations like McDonald's and Kroger agreed to stop using the product, and nearly every state (except Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota) opted to stop including "pink slime" in their school lunches.

Dr. Panos Acquitted of Fondling Kids; Should He Sue Them?

Dr. Ernest Panos is finally a free man. The 81-year-old orthodontist has been staring down long prison sentences for what seems to have been false accusations, reports the Chicago Tribune. Last month, we covered his first acquittal. Yesterday afternoon, he was cleared of the other girl's accusations.

Obviously, getting accused of fondling 13-year-old and 15-year-old girls is going to cause some trouble in your professional life, especially when you own your own business. Thanks to a change in Illinois law, Dr. Panos had to have a chaperone oversee all of his work with patients after the initial allegation.

Carly Rae Jepsen: Sex Tape, Maybe?

She’s got the song of the year, and if the leaked uber-grainy video that hit the internet is what it proclaims, she might have the sex tape of the year as well. Earlier this week, Perez Hilton posted screen captures of a video that allegedly captured Carly Rae Jepsen performing sexual acts. The main protagonist in the film does very strongly resemble Jepsen, though Jepsen took to twitter to deny the film.

Unlike the Minka Kelly sex tape, hints of which were also leaked today, there won’t be any allegations that this is child porn. During not-Jepsen’s performance, the Katy Perry and Kanye West thriller E.T. plays in the background. The song was released last year. Jepsen, despite the teen-pop flavor of her music, is 26-years-old.

CDC Attacks (Defames?) Fast Food With Questionable Stats

Fighting the nation's obesity epidemic is a noble cause. Fighting dirty, however is not. The Center for Disease Control recently released some data on fast food portion sizes, and the news outlets seem to be eating it up, including the Huffington Post.

For those in the fast food know, the CDC's recently published infograph on portion sizes seems deceptive on the surface; if it is, does the attempted end of obesity justify the means?

Chicago Police Officer Sues Cop for Defamation

When you post something onto Facebook, you must do so with the expectation that the world will see it. In one case, a dad may lose his rights to see his daughter over what was purported to be a joke. In another case, a Chicago police officer is suing a cop over comments made on the social media site.

Police officer Lance Handzel lived in the Gresham district on the South Side of Chicago about one block away from 27-year-veteran Captain Juan Morado, reports the Chicago Tribune. Handzel was assigned to cover the same neighborhood where the two officers lived.

OMG! Groupon Deal, Yelp Review, Defamation Lawsuit

In a bizarre and downright immature case, a Groupon deal was used, a Yelp review was posted, and a defamation lawsuit was filed. But surprisingly, it wasn't a jilted business suing for an unfairly nasty Yelp review, but instead it was the customer suing the business for defamation.

Cecelia Groark purchased a Groupon deal for a food and wine pairing class at Bottled Grapes in Albany Park, reports CBS. However, the deal required that Groark confirm her reservation by responding to an email. Groark said she never got the email and when she called Bottled Grapes to find out where the wine pairing class was to be held, she discovered that her seats were resold since she never confirmed.

Judge Compares Lawyer to Ostrich -- Hurtful, but Defamatory?

Judge Richard Posner is one of the best known law professors and judges in the country. Along with his fame, comes a bit of notoriety too, as the judge has been known to tongue-lash unprepared lawyers who’ve come before him, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.

And Posner certainly didn’t disappoint when Dallas-based attorney David McKeand apparently forgot to cite a case that Posner felt was the most recent, on-point decision dealing with a jurisdiction matter the court was considering.

Fox Jay Cutler Headlines, Defamation?

In Week 1, the Fox NFL pregame show aired a segment where it flashed three fictitious headlines about Bears quarterback Jay Cutler. The headlines seemed so real, it even fooled Fox analyst Daryl Johnston who described the headlines as "actual headlines" on air. This past Sunday, Fox pregame show host Curt Menefee apologized for the Jay Cutler headlines.

But is this apology too late, and does Cutler have legal recourse?

In the NFC Championship game against the Packers last year, Cutler had a pretty bad showing before deciding to take most of the second half off citing a knee injury. Cutler was destroyed by the media and even by fellow players who called into question his heart and courage.

Drew Peterson Movie Demanded to be Stopped

Lifetime's made-for-TV Drew Peterson movie starring Rob Lowe may not happen after all. According to the Chicago Tribune, Peterson has demanded that the movie stop production arguing that it invades his privacy and is a "character assassination" as he stands trial for the murder of his third wife.

Peterson, the former suburban Chicago cop, was accused of killing his third wife Kathleen Savio in 2004, reports Reuters. Savio was found dead in the couple's bathtub. Later on, in 2007, Peterson's fourth wife disappeared, and many suspect he may have played a role in her disappearance.