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According to Florida law, two types of compensatory damages can be recovered in a defamation suit, general damages and special damages:

In determining the types of compensatory damages recoverable in a defamation suit, Florida law recognizes two classes: general and special. General damages are those which the law presumes must naturally, proximately and necessarily result from publication of the libel or slander. They are allowable whenever the immediate result is to impair the plaintiff’s reputation, although no actual pecuniary loss is demonstrated. 20 Fla.Jur. Libel and Slander sections 6, 88. Words which are actionable in themselves, or per se, necessarily import general damages and need not be pleaded or proved but are conclusively presumed to result. Moreover malice is presumed as a matter of law from the publication of such words. Ibid.
Special damages do not result by implication of law from a wrongful publication and, unlike general damages, must be specially pled. It is necessary for a plaintiff to show his special damages proximately resulted from the defamation. Ibid. at section 111.

See: Bobenhausen v. Cassat Ave. Mobile, 344 So. 2d 279 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1977)

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