Legal Question in Civil Litigation in Georgia

Possible suit for slander, oral defamation of character

A co-worker was arrested for violation of probation ( unknown as to why he was on probation or what the violation was). He missed some major deadlines at work, and out of concern, his group "team" of co-workers were trying to figure out where he was. After a little thought, my spouse called the local jail and located the co worker. My spouse informed management, as there job has a lot of security clearances. He also told 3 other co-workers who were equally as concerned as he was.( He made sure that it was the correct person, by attempting to visit him in jail, but wasn't allowed due to visitation restrictions). Now that word has gotten around the office the jailed co-workers girlfriend is threatening to sue my husband if the jailed co worker loses his job ( which is pretty much what will probably happen). My question is 1. Is there a suit possible here? 2. If there is, what is the maximum amount that we could be sued for? 3.What would our next logical step be? Thank you for any help.

Asked on 8/15/00, 7:19 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Hugh Wood Wood & Meredith

Re: Possible suit for slander, oral defamation of character

There are not enough facts to answer your question. However, the fact that he missed deadlines may be enought to put a business on inquiry notice to look for a missing worker. So, the search seems reasonable.

The fact that he was in the local jail -- is a PUBLIC event. Truth is a defense. If your workers simply reported a truthful locate of the missing worker -- well, then -- so what. It was public information of his missing whereabouts. Had corporate management conducted their own search, they could have found him in a public place -- the local public lockup.

I don't she how there is anything untruthful or defamatory here. However, as I said -- there are not enought facts.

I think you should tell her to "bring it on." She will lose in Court.

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Answered on 9/24/00, 10:15 pm

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