John S. Dunne Claims Management
Professional Claims Management for Individuals and Companies
Call us on 00353-87-8288112
INVESTIGATING CLAIMS SINCE 1998
Defamation is the expression of false statements that damage the reputation or character of an individual, a business, or an organisation. These false statements can be spoken, written, broadcast on TV or radio, or shared via the internet or social media.
In Ireland, the law regarding defamation was overhauled in 2009 with the new Defamation Act. Previously, defamation was split into two categories: libel (publishing false statements) and slander (speaking false statements). However, this distinction no longer exists.
It is also important to remember that if the statement is true, then it does not amount to defamation.
An employer can be held vicariously liable for the defamatory statements of their employees. For example, a shop assistant or security operative may accuse a customer of theft which, if untrue, is defamatory.
Defamation claims can attract surprisingly large damages. They require specialist knowledge and particularly careful investigation. We specialise in defamation and have successfully defended hundreds of defamation claims.
We were instructed by a major insurance company who asked us to manage a defamation case, which they felt might need to be settled. The Plaintiff had been accused of theft by a security operative in a busy store in Dublin city centre.
We approached the Plaintiff's solicitors and were informed in writing that the Plaintiff was of impeccable character and sought significant damages for the damage to his reputation.
The security operative involved had left the policyholder's employment and so was not available to give evidence. There was no CCTV of the incident.
However, on investigating the matter, we discovered that the Plaintiff had multiple convictions, a number of which were for theft. We therefore approached his advisors once more and compelled them to withdraw the case. We sought recovery of the costs of investigation which were eventually obtained, at a net cost to our client of zero.