Defamation cases are pretty rare, but since the phone is ringing, I thought a quick primer on the law of defamation in Washington State is in order.
In Washington, a defamation plaintiff must establish four elements to recover monetary damages:
- Falsity - the published statement was false;
- An unprivileged communication;
- Fault (negligence if a private plaintiff and, if a public figure or public official, "actual malice" knowledge of falsity or reckless disregard of the truth or falsity) ; and
- Damages - the defamatory statement caused economic injury of some kind.
Contact Mark D. Walters