am developing a flyer opposing a proposed development closeby. I mention the development (gas station and 24 hr convenience store) that is proposed then ask if residents are concerned about such things as increase neighborhood crime, health and environmental risks, reduced property values, traffic--Can I be sued for slander or am i liable in any way ? I am in New York state
1 Answer from Attorneys
You cannot be sued for slander unless you speak an intentionally false statement about a person or persons or person or business..
And, you cannot be sued for libel unless you publish an intentionally false statement a person or persons or person or business..
As long as you merely report the number or percentage of people who were concerned about the issues you mention, then you are probably not in danger of being sued for slander nor for libel.unless the surver questions you ask contain defamatory
statements which you know to be false. .
However, if your printed flyer contains quotes from surveyed individuals at length and in those quotes some individuals make defamatory statements about a business or person or persons which you know to be false, then you could be sued for libel,, and also if your survey contains questions which include defamatory false statements about a person or persons or business or businesses which you know to be false, then you could be sued for slander. .