Elements of Defamation in WA STATE

Defining Defamation in Washington State

To win a defamation lawsuit in Washington State, plaintiffs must prove (at the very least) that their respective defendants:

  1. Made a false and unprivileged statement of fact about the claimant;
  2. Caused harm to befall the plaintiff, through statements; and
  3. Acted with “reckless disregard for the truth” by making the statements.

There are two types of defamation — libel and slander. Libel is written defamation; slander is spoken defamation.

Washington State’s defamation statute of limitations is two years.

Defamation Per Se Civil Suits are Permissible in Washington State

As with many states, per se defamation lawsuits are possible in Washington. In these cases, the offending statement is considered automatically to have caused damages (i.e., calling someone a criminal), lifting the plaintiff’s burden of proof. The exact statements that can be considered defamation per se in Washington state vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: