Issue: In Michigan, in what instances does a credit company’s actions constitute slander so as to support a directed verdict?
|Area of Law:||Litigation & Procedure, Personal Injury & Negligence|
|Keywords:||Credit company; Defamation; Evidence of damage|
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The appellate court will reverse a trial court’s denial of a motion for directed verdict only if the decision was clearly erroneous. TA s "Moffit v Sederlund, 145 Mich App 1, 6; 378 NW2d 49" c 1 l "Moffit v Sederlund, 145 Mich App 1; 378 NW2d 491 (1985)"Moffit v Sederlund, 145 Mich App 1, 6; 378 NW2d 491, 495 (1985). The appellate court reviews such a decision by viewing the evidence and every reasonable inference in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, the nonmoving party. Hunt v Freeman, 217 Mich App supra at 98-99; 550 NW2d 817 (1996).
If a credit company tries to maintain that Michigan law does not recognize a cause of action for defamation involving one’s credit reputation, the elements of such an action were set forth by the Court in TA s "Michigan Microtech, Inc v Federated Publications, I" c 1 l "Michigan Microtech, Inc v Federated Publications, Inc, 187 Mich App 178; 466 NW2d 717 (1991)"TA s "Michigan Microtech, Inc v Federated Publications, I" c 1Michigan Microtech, Inc v Federated Publications, Inc, 187 Mich App 178, 182; 466 NW2d 717, 720 (1991):
In order to establish liability for defamation, a plaintiff must prove: (1) a false and defamatory statement concerning the plaintiff, (2) an unprivileged publication to a third party, (3) fault amounting to at least negligence on the part of the publisher, and (4) either actionability of the statement irrespective of special harm […]