NO! You've completely misunderstood my point.
That's not what I said. Reread my post.....carefully! He's not likely to sue because people are upset with him. Duh! But, if he feels that he's suffered financial losses because of what people post about him and his business, he could decide to sue for slander and unless the people who slandered him can prove that what they said is fact....... and not just their opinion, he'd likely win his lawsuit.
For example: Here you say he's "stealing". That's a serious acusation and it's slander. Providing poor quality product and/or poor quality customer service is NOT "stealing" by any definition as far as I know. So, congratulations, you've just opened up yourself to a lawsuit. The courts will have a very clear definition of "stealing". Your use of that word in the context of this public conversation is not likely in keeping with the legal definition.....so, you could be seriously screwed.
Now seriously, most people would not bother to sue for small, or single attacks. So, you're probably safe. However, JAB said: "Well I am going to blow him up online......and I will make sure to spread word to other societies about his business practices and culture issues." This sounds like a public admission of a systematic vendetta being planned against Norman's. So, JAB had better make damned sure that virtually every word that he types about Norman's is true and factual and that it is all backed up by clear evidence. Otherwise, JAB could find himself being told by some court to pay Norman's Orchids for damages.
This is whole slander thing is sort of ridiculous. The united states slander is heavily heavily weighted in favor of the defendant. Luckily we still have the first amendment which gives us lots of latitude with speech. The case may be dismissed if the injurious statements were stated as opinion rather than fact, if they do not actually do injury to the plaintiff's reputation that results in financial loss; or if the statements were true. In addition a slander case must also prove that the defendant acted negligently or with malice in order to win a case. In our legal system the onus is on the plaintiff not the defendant the burden of proof is lower in a civil case. So I disagree severely with your statements. These are clearly opinions and in my case irrefutable facts. These transactions took place over state line so this is a federal case. Good luck to Norman's orchids and their shitty customer service and deceptive business practices. The whole slander thing is ridiculous for many many reasons. Bring it on.
Yes, yes, of course....first amendment and all that. Sure, you've got a point. However, whether or not Norman's won his case, should he file one, is not really the concern....although, you never know. Just think of the hassle and disruption to a person's life if someone sued them and in the end, lost the case anyway. It'd still take a toll....and it came to that just because they thought the pots didn't have enough medium in them?....the roots were not of award winning quality?....etc. So they went on a slanderous rampage online. Is the satisfaction derived from venting like that worth the risk of such a fight, even if you win it? Not likely. My point was that it's a matter of striking a balance and not poking a hornet's nest. I did say "Be careful"....and that's what I meant.
"The case may be dismissed if the injurious statements were stated as opinion rather than fact, Which is why I said to be careful. He needs to choose his words very carefully, so as to not appear to be expressing "so-called" facts....but, to be clear that it is his opinion.....it's only what HE thinks. There's a big difference between saying "person X is stealing" and "I think person X is stealing".if they do not actually do injury to the plaintiff's reputation that results in financial loss; Again, my advice to be careful applies. Stating that you will blow them up on the Internet....and make sure that everybody knows.....gives the impression of a war about to begin. Wars can be messy and things get said that can be very costly to a reputation and cause real financial losses to a business. So, it's wise to simply be careful about what you say. In this regard, whether or not the person is liable depends a lot on whether or not they did cause financial losses as a result of an unjust vendetta against the vendor. or if the statements were true. You mean like "he's stealing!" That's not true; but, it was said by a supporter. Things like this can get out of hand and people can still get themselves into trouble with their big mouths and keyboards, despite the first amendment.In addition a slander case must also prove that the defendant acted negligently or with malice in order to win a case." I think promising to "blow him up online" is proof enough of malice. Again, this is why I cautioned my fellow SlipperTalker to "be careful". I didn't guarantee that he'd lose the case if he was sued. But, his life would be a pile of **** while it was all unfolding. Who needs that?....over a disappointing plant order. Move on and save yourself the trouble. Plus, sure, tell us all here at ST about your experience and your disappointment; but, stick to the true facts and your opinion and don't make threats of taking revenge by deliberately doing harm, whether it be physical, or reputational, or financial. Don't get caught up in the frenzy of retribution and embellish anything or make up your own facts with the intension of causing maximum harm and presenting them to others as irrefutable and true....because you may one day be required to prove that "your" facts are actually true. If the plaintif shows that they are not true...and you intended to do harm and you lied and exaggerated to accomplish your goal, the first amendment won't protect you.
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