Legal Memorandum: Publication of Injurious Falsehood Claims

Issue: Under the law of the Virgin Islands, what are the elements of a claim for publication of injurious falsehood?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure, Personal Injury & Negligence
Keywords: Publication of an injurious falsehood; False statement
Jurisdiction: Virgin Islands
Cited Cases: None
Cited Statutes: Restatement (Second) of Torts § 623, § 630, § 772
Date: 04/01/2015

The Restatement (Second) of Torts provides that:


One who publishes a false statement harmful to the interests of another is subject to liability for pecuniary loss resulting to the other if


(a)        he intends for publication of the statement to result in harm to interests of the other having a pecuniary value, or either recognizes or should recognize that it is likely to do so, and


(b)        he knows that the statement is false or acts in reckless disregard of its truth or falsity.


Restatement (Second) of Torts § 623; White v. White, No. ST-13-CV-400, 2013 V.I. LEXIS 64, 3 (V.I. Super. Ct. Oct. 10, 2013) (Dunson, J.) (applying § 623A).  “Publication of an injurious falsehood is its communication intentionally or by a negligent act to someone other than the person whose interest is affected.”  Restatement (Second) of Torts § 630.  The manner of communication is immaterial; it can be written or spoken.  Id. at § 630, cmt. b.  The publication of injurious falsehood and defamation are similar, but they protect different interests.  Restatement (Second) of Torts § 623A, cmt. g.  Defamation protects the personal injury of the injured party and arose out of libel and slander.  Id.  Injurious falsehood protects economic interests of the injured party against pecuniary loss and arose as a special damage resulting from publication.  Id

However, one is not liable for giving truthful information or […]

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