Legal Memorandum: Defamation against Credit Reporting Agency

Issue: Under federal law, what are the elements of a defamation claim brought against a credit reporting agency?

Area of Law: Banking & Finance Law, Personal Injury & Negligence
Keywords: Defamation; Credit reporting agency; Malice
Jurisdiction: Federal
Cited Cases: None
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 02/01/2000

To recover for defamation against a credit reporting agency, the following elements must be proved: (1) defamatory words; (2) publication; (3) falsity; (4) malice, actual or implied; and (5) resulting injury.  See Brewer v. Memphis Publ’g Co., 626 F.2d 1238 (5th Cir. 1980).

"Malice" is publication with knowledge that the information is false, or with reckless disregard as to whether the information was false.  Brewer, 626 F.2d at 1238.


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