March 13, 2020

Defenses and Damages in a Trade Libel Action in California and Common Trade Libel Claims

Angry couple arguing with manager complain on bad contract

Trade libel is the publication of a false statement of fact that is an intentional disparagement of the quality of the services or products of a business, which publication results in damages. 

Trade libel and business and commercial disparagement is becoming an increasing issue in today’s age of e-commerce, Yelp reviews, and internet business. 

We at Beverly Hills Law Corp., PC handle all sorts of legal needs for the California business owner, including pursuing and defending trade libel claims. 

Trade Libel vs. General Business Competition

The difference between trade libel and just general business competition is that trade libel involves making knowingly false statements about a business and intending such false statements to damage the business economically. 

Our previous article on trade libel went over the elements of a trade libel claim.  This article will focus specifically on the damages that a Beverly Hills or Los Angeles business owner may be able to seek in a trade libel claim, or if you are a California business and are facing an allegation of trade libel, we will cover some of the defenses available to a defendant in a trade libel lawsuit in California. 

We will also cover some common trade libel claims at the end of the article. 

Defending Yourself

If you are facing a trade libel suit from a rival business, there are many defenses that may be available to you in a claim, including, but not limited to the following: the offending statement being true; the rival business not having any malice; the offending statement being an opinion or a joke; and the rival business coming after you for trade libel not having suffered any actual damages.

There may be other applicable defenses, but these are the most common ones we have seen.  A trade libel lawsuit or even allegations of trade libel are not something you as a business owner in California want to deal with. 

You need a Beverly Hills business attorney that can handle your trade libel claim efficiently and effectively.   

Beverly Hills Law Corp., PC offers a unique Legal Subscription Program that allows California small business owners to pay a reasonable flat monthly fee to have their legal needs serviced by Beverly Hills Law Corp., PC as outside general counsel.  

This means that if you get a scary demand letter in the mail from a rival business owner claiming that you are engaging in trade libel in California, you simply have to forward that letter to us and we will handle it for you, defending it with vigor.  

This allows you the California business owner to focus on operating your business and maximizing your profits, rather than worry about legal claims.

Pursuing a Claim

If you are a business owner pursuing a claim for trade libel that was made against your Los Angeles small business, there are many types of damages available to you under a California trade libel claim.  

Some of the damages that you can get from a trade libel claim in California are lost profits and reputational damages for damage to your business goodwill or reputation.

You may even be able to get punitive damages and injunctive relief (i.e. to step the trade libel from happening).   Please contact us at Beverly Hills Law Corp., PC as an experienced and knowledgeable Beverly Hills business attorney can advise you as to the potential damages. 

As far as common claims for trade libel, these include false and defamatory reviews about a business on Yelp or other online review websites, posting defamatory content on a blog, spreading rumors about a business or its goods or services, and former employees disparaging their employer. 

Talk To An Experienced Attorney About Trade Libel

If you are a California employer and have an issue with former employees disparaging you and creating trade libel, please contact Beverly Hills Law Corp., PC today for a consultation on the next steps to take. 

If you are a business owner in California dealing with negative and false reviews on Yelp or Google or Facebook, we can also help you with takedown notices and other remedies that may be available to you. 

Finally, to prevent issues like this from becoming expensive in the long run, consider signing up for your Legal Subscription Program, which was exclusively designed for California small business owners and all of their business legal needs. 

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