Business owners face a number of challenges as they struggle to earn a profit. Some are to be expected, such as economic downturns or stiff competition. Others, such as fraud or broken contracts, are harder to predict because they should not happen. One example of an illegal strategy for reducing competition is called trade libel.
Trade libel is an offense in which a person or company intentionally spreads false information about another company’s products or services. It is unfair and odious behavior, but unfortunately it can also be very effective. If your company is at risk of losing business because you have been victimized by false accusations, the Des Moines business lawyers of LaMarca Law Group, P.C. can help. Call us at (877) 327-2600.
The Components of a Trade Libel Claim
If your business has been targeted by untrue and malicious rumors, you could have grounds for a legal claim against the responsible party. Our Des Moines trade libel lawyers can help you demonstrate the required components of such a claim, which are:
- The defendant has published damaging claims about your business. In this context, publish means making information publically available, whether it is through literature, radio, the internet, or other means.
- The claims are untrue. No matter how much they harm your business, you do not have a case if the accusations about your products are accurate.
- The claims are not just a matter of opinion. Insulting your products does not qualify; the defendant must have presented these claims as facts.
- The defendant knew the claims were untrue, or negligently failed to verify them, before publishing them.
- The publication has caused your business to suffer measurable economic losses.
If your claim is successful, you could be eligible for both compensatory and punitive damages.
The Des Moines trade libel attorneys of LaMarca Law Group, P.C. uphold the standard of legal and ethical business practices. If you need any help protecting your business from libel or slander, contact us at (877) 327-2600.