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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Lawyer
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A local TV station showed a video of my son and broadcasted

Customer Question

A local TV station showed a video of my son and broadcasted it stating it saying that he was an armed robbery suspect they arrested in my town he was NEVER an armed robbery suspect and I want to sue them for damages I need to find an attorney I cant seem to find one that handles libel slander or defamation cases. I have the video and several winesses even the guy who owns the store that was robbed he knows our family and will testify in court that his employees id'd the robbers and they wree black males my son is white there are so many facts that the TV station should have known to lead them to know they were making accusations against the wrong person...HELP
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

My name is Lucy and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear that this happened.

If your son is an adult, he would need to file his own lawsuit to protect his reputation. That may be why you're not finding an attorney to accept the case for you. You unfortunately cannot do it for him. If he's a minor, then you can file as next friend on his behalf.

Defamation requires an untrue statement of fact that tends to harm the reputation of the person about whom the statement is made. A statement that someone committed a crime is considered defamation per se - it will be presumed that his reputation suffered as a result. The problem is, because of the First Amendment, there is a higher burden of proof when the defendant is a newspaper. That means that, to prove the case, you'll need evidence that the reporter knew that the statement was not true, or that he exhibited a knowing and reckless disregard of whether the statement was true or false. That can be difficult to establish, which could require that you request information from the other party.

We unfortunately are not able to recommend specific attorneys. However, the Georgia Bar Referral Service may be able to help.
http://www.gabar.org/barrules/ethicsandprofessionalism/referral-service.cfm


Alternatively, if you search for a defamation attorney on www.martindale.com, you may be able to find someone on your geographic area.

If you have any questions or concerns about what I've written, please reply so that I may address them. It's important to me that you are 100% satisfied with the service I provide. Otherwise, please rate my service positively so that I get credit for answering your question. Thank you.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

They were completely aware that the real armed robbers were black males in their 20s my son is white and 17. Even the owner of the store that was robbed told us he knew my son had nothing to do with it being that the employees positively id'd the robbers before the tv station aired the footage implicating my son. They failed to mention any of this during the broadcast and as soon as I told them I was getting a lawyer and that i had witnesses including the employees that were at the store durng the robbery that will testify my son was not involved they stopped airing the broadcast and took the video off the internet but I recorded it to prove in court what they had said and the footage they aired accusing my son. I also gave them ample time before any of the lawyer talk I called and talked to the head of the station and told her they were picturing the wrong person, she apologized and said they wouldnt aire it again, but continued to do so 5 more times along with the video on their website, it wasnt until I mentioned a lawyer that they took it off the website and didnt aire it on the news anymore as if to prove that they knew it was false and were worried about getting sued.

Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
If they knew it was false, you can bring a suit on your son's behalf for the harm to his reputation that comes from being accused. Removing the video will reduce the damages a little, but it doesn't change the fact that the initial harm was done - especially if they never reported or printed any sort of retraction.

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