- Defamation is a false statement of fact about an individual communicated to others that puts the individual in a bad light.
- In order to state a claim of defamation, a plaintiff must allege facts indicating that (1) the defendant published a false statement regarding the plaintiff - that is, the defendant communicated the statement concerning the plaintiff to a third party; (2) the statement could damage the plaintiff's reputation in the community; and (3) the statement caused economic loss or is otherwise actionable without proof of economic loss. Flagg v. Alimed, Inc., 466 Mass. 23, 37 (2013).
- Under the doctrine of respondeat superior a Company is vicariously liable for the torts of its employees if the torts are committed within the scope of their employment. Burroughs v. Commonwealth, 423 Mass. 874, 877 (1996).
- Employers have a conditional privilege to disclose defamatory information about an employee when such a disclosure is reasonably necessary to serve the legitimate interest of the employer regarding the fitness of the employee to perform his or her job. Bratt v. International Business Machines Corp., 392 Mass. 508 (1984)
- The conditional privilege can be lost if it is abused.
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