Defamation Cases

In defamation cases there is always a fine line between what is defamatory (a false fact) and what is merely opinion, albeit offensive.  This fall the Virginia Supreme court will attempt to thread this needle in Cashion v. Smith where some of the allegedly non-defamatory (opinion) statements were “”He could have made it with better resuscitation”; “This was a very poor effort”; “You didn’t really try”; “You gave up on him”; “You determined from the beginning that he wasn’t going to make it and purposefully didn’t resuscitate him.”  This could substantively alter Virginia’s law of defamation and might offer more opportunities to sue for scurrilous statements that used to be protected as “opinion.”

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