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Defamation Insulting Words: Cases Summarized By Injury Attorney

The cases below are a compilation of cases from the Virginia Supreme Court summarized by Brien Roche dealing with the topic of  defamation insulting words and the related topic of intentional torts. For more information on defamation see the pages on Wikipedia.

Defamation Insulting Words-Statutes

See Va. Code § 8.01-45.

Defamation Insulting Words-Cases

1996 Allen & Rocks, Inc. v. Dowell, 252 Va. 439, 477 S.E.2d 741.

Defamation insulting words.Plaintiff was discharged by long time employer. Employer thereafter gave unfavorable reference stating that interpersonal and management skills were unsatisfactory, that he did not communicate well with employer, that he was discharged because of performance and that he would not be subject to rehire. These were not words that tend to violence of breach of peace and therefore case should have been stricken.

1985 Crawford v. United Steel Workers, 230 Va. 217, 335 S.E.2d 828.

Defamation insulting words.Ugly, repulsive, and obscene words that cannot reasonably be understood to convey false representation of fact made in context of labor dispute are not actionable.

1976 Tweedy v. J.C. Penney Co., 216 Va. 596, 221 S.E.2d 152.

Malice need not be proved in insulting words action.

1972 National Ass’n of Letter Carriers v. Austin, 213 Va. 377, 192 S.E.2d 737.

Under insulting words statute, only those words not protected by First Amendment are actionable. Statute not vague or overbroad. Defamation may be by inference, implication, innuendo, or insinuation.

1972 Shupe v. Rose’s Stores, Inc., 213 Va. 374, 192 S.E.2d 766.

Defamation insulting words.Common-law rules of slander to be applied to all actions for libel and insulting words under statute. At common law defamatory words that are actionable per se are: (1) those which impute commission of some criminal offense involving moral turpitude; (2) that person is infected with some contagious disease; (3) that person is unfit to perform duties of office or employment of profit; (4) those which prejudice such person in his or her profession or trade. All other defamatory words that though not in themselves actionable, occasion person special damage are actionable.

1966 Zayre, Inc. v. Gowdy, 207 Va. 47, 147 S.E.2d 710.

Insulting words statute case. Detention by security officer. Words uttered by person falsely conveying charge of criminal offense involving moral turpitude are actionable under statute and are libelous per se. Two minor girls detained and accused of shoplifting. Held: sufficient to permit recovery under insulting words statute. Probable cause no defense.

1956 Saleeby v. Free Press, Inc., 197 Va. 761, 91 S.E.2d 405.

Action brought under insulting words statute; plaintiff alleged defendant defamed her by stating she was “operator” of club which was being run illegally. Defense of truth interposed.

1954 Carwile v. Richmond Newspapers, 196 Va. 1, 82 S.E.2d 588.

Action for insulting words is treated precisely as action for slander or libel for words actionable per se, with exception that no publication is necessary.

1950 Darnell v. Davis, 190 Va. 701, 58 S.E.2d 68.

To state cause of action words must be insulting and tend to produce violence or breach of peace.

1946 Cook v. Patterson, 185 Va. 516, 39 S.E.2d 304.

Under insulting words statute, motive of speaker is not material except upon question of malice and damages.

1944 M. Rosenberg & Sons v. Craft, 182 Va. 512, 29 S.E.2d 375.

No publication necessary for insulting words action. Good faith and probable cause may be defenses in certain instances.

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Defamation Insulting Words: Cases Summarized By Injury Attorney

Contact Us For A Free Consultation

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