Civil/Commercial Litigation (Lawsuits)/libel

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Question
Hello Mr. Smith,
I work as a licensed nurse. The company I work for has many computer glitches in the system in which the nursed record patient information. Many times we log on and another nurse's name will log on instead. This has been reported to our supervisor. I have an excellent record of my work; with excellent peer reviews. Recently, I have received notice from my supervisor stating that I've made three medication errors, in which I did not. I believe it's possible because of the computer glitches. One, I proved that it was not me and another nurse's error. She had a very berating conversation with me in which I was not allowed to ask questions or explain. She stated that I make medication errors, lie about it and blame other people and that it has been documented in my file. This is an absolute lie. I called her supervisor and human resources to have it removed. Human resources advised me to "it's best to just move forward". She obviously has no proof,(some nurses continue to document under other nurses login which pops up from the computer glitches) I feel that this is libel. Am I correct? What can I do?  For the record, she mentioned months ago when there was an error (to which I still cannot figure out) that she was surprised because I never make med errors.
Thank you for your time

Answer
Hello Colleen,

Before I respond further to your question, I must make clear that I do not represent you, and cannot give you individual particularized legal advice. No attorney client relationship is created by this email. For legal advice, you should hire your own attorney, and follow their advice. My role with AllExperts is limited to providing general information and suggestions for educational or general knowledge purposes. Before you take any action, consult with your own attorney.

The following may be helpful to you:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defamation; also see http://en.allexperts.com/q/Civil-Commercial-Litigation-911/2013/6/defamation-2.h.  

Typically, the elements of defamation are the utterance of a defamatory statement of fact, the publishing or projecting the statement to a third person, and the maker knows or should know the defamatory statement was false when made, and that the making of the false statement is either per se defamatory or it causes the victim some real harm.

Based on your description, it is possible that you could satisfy the first element.  It sounds like you have proof to contradict the claim you've made certain errors.  I do not know if you would be successful showing the other nurse knew those statements were false; given the glitchy situation its possible your opponent(s) to successfully claim the false statements were not intended to be about you, etc.  Finally, given the reaction from your HR department and the lack of any description by you of any harm these statements have caused you, I doubt that if you prevailed on all other elements you'd be able to demonstrate any measurable damages.

I suggest that you confer with an attorney licensed to practice in your area, and explore the options available to you.  Including litigation, I suggest that you and your attorney consider dispatching a letter asserting your position and setting the record straight.

I hope this helps, good luck to you.

Morgan Smith
SMITH & RAVER LLP
Minneapolis, Minnesota
http://smith-and-raver-llp.biz
Conciliation Court * Civil Litigation * Forfeitures * Construction * Family Law

Civil/Commercial Litigation (Lawsuits)

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Morgan Smith

Expertise

Civil litigation (contract claims, landlord-tenant actions, forfeiture suits, residential construction defect matters), Family law (divorce, custody modifications, child support modifications, and pre-nuptial agreement), new business start-ups, civil forfeiture, asset forfeiture. Please do not submit your question as Private. It is my policy not to answer Private questions from members of the public here on AllExperts; I reserve that function to my private clients. Although AllExperts permits me to change your questions from Private to Public, it is my policy not to do that. I encourage you to resubmit your question as a public question. Your public question has the potential to help others with similar concerns. I suggest that you use a pretend name and otherwise alter sensitive facts that make you inclined to treat your question as Private, and submit your question to me Publicly.

Experience

I've been practicing law in the State of Minnesota since 1995. I've worked in skyscraper firms, and now my own small firm in Minneapolis. Past answers from my earlier participation on AllExperts is posted at: http://en.allexperts.com/q/Civil-Commercial-Litigation-911/indexExp_80217.htm

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AllExperts, Yahoo Answers, http://smith-and-raver-llp.biz/News.html

Education/Credentials
J.D. William Mitchell College of Law, St Paul, MN

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