Libel is defined as any written publication of a false and defamatory remark that may injure another’s reputation, character, or means of livelihood. In addition to being written in nature, libel may also be verbal defamation of another individual or group if it has been published in a transfixed form such as on television or radio. In order to file a libel lawsuit, it must be shown that the individual publishing the injurious statements knew or should have known that the statements were false.
More specifically, under Florida law, the elements of a libel claim are as follows: (1) The defendant published a false statement (2) about the plaintiff (3) to a third party (4) and the falsity of the statement caused harm to the plaintiff. Unless you are a public official or public figure, you do not need to prove financial damages when filing a libel claim. The law states that the publication of defamatory statements in a transmittable, affixed form that is capable of widespread and simple dissemination will certainly cause damage to one’s reputation or character, which is enough for a court to impose damages.