According to Florida law, words imputing dishonesty are defamatory per se:
Additionally, pursuant to Florida law, a statement may also be defamatory per se. See Hoch v. Rissman, 742 So. 2d 451, 457 (Fla. 5th DCA 1999). “[F]alse statements which suggest that someone has committed a dishonest or illegal act are defamatory per se.” Shaw v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., 818 F. Supp. 1539, 1541–42 (M.D. Fla. 1993) (citation omitted). In other words, when a statement is “so obviously defamatory” and “damaging to [one’s] reputation,” it generally “gives rise to an absolute presumption both of malice and damage.” Wolfson v. Kirk, 273 So. 2d 774, 776 (Fla. 4th DCA 1973); see also Carroll v. TheStreet.com, Inc., No. 11-CV-81173, 2012 WL 13134547, at *3 (S.D. Fla. May 25, 2012) (finding plaintiff need not provide “proof of special damages” where plaintiff’s defamation per se action was based on statements suggesting plaintiff had previously committed a dishonest act).
See: Corsi v. Newsmax Media, Inc. – 519 F.Supp.3d 1110
Related (From Alan’s injury blog):
- Defamation Per Se: When Libel or Slander Is Egregious
- Defamation Cases Where Plaintiffs Were Victorious
- Defamation of Character Claims
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