Defamation of a Corporation in Illinois

Illinois law permits a party to seek damages from another when that party makes a false statement in an unprivileged forum or, more accurately, in an unprivileged publication, that causes damages to the aggrieved party. Solaia Technology, LLC v. Specialty Publishing Co., 852 N.E.2d 825, 839 (2006). Both slander and libel are now encompassed by the term “defamation.” O’Donnell v. Field Enterprises, Inc., 491 N.E.2d 1212, 1232 (1986).

What distinguishes a common law defamation action on the behalf of a corporation from that of an individual is the issue of damages.  Since a corporation lacks a personal reputation, it cannot suffer emotional damages. Brown and Williamson Tobacco Corp. v. Jacobson, 827 F.2d 1119, 1139 (7th Cir. 1987). Instead it must establish damages to its business, such as loss of sales or a subsequent breach by a supplier or distributor. Under certain circumstances, a business does not have to establish actual losses, such as when the defamatory statement is considered per se defamatory.  Id.  Future parties will discuss defenses.

The Patterson Firm routinely represents corporations, corporate officers, small businesses, and similar entities throughout the greater Chicago area as well as the state of Illinois. No matter what your role or the size of your company, you need an aggressive, experienced attorney to handle these matters expeditiously. You can schedule an appointment with a lawyer by calling us at (312) 223-1699. You can email us at marketing@pattersonlawfirm.com or contact us here to schedule an appointment.

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