Published: | Updated: November 22, 2017

Definition - What does Slander mean?

Slander refers to the civil wrong of making oral statements to third parties that are false and damaging to someone else’s reputation. In other words, it is the act of verbally smearing someone’s good name with malicious intent and a cause of action for a lawsuit. Liability insurance exists to protect individuals from this risk.

Slander is also known as oral defamation.

Insuranceopedia explains Slander

For a verbal utterance to qualify as slander, it must be untruthful and harmful to the concerned person's reputation or injurious to them. A third party must have heard the statement for the lawsuit to be viable. The victim also has to prove that the statement defamed their reputation and that there were actual injuries. Slander is a civil wrong only if it causes someone to lose their social, financial or employment status. The harm caused is known as damages, of which there are two kinds: special damages and non-economic damages. The former refer to damages that can be calculated in exact quantities, while non-economic damages are damages that cause suffering and pain.

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