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I live in Tennessee and I am a non traditional college student…

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I live in Tennessee and...
I live in Tennessee and I am a non traditional college student there. Recently I was accused of something very embarrassing in front of the class by the instructor. In fact he did this on two separate occasions within a week. My question is? Is there anything I can do about this this situation? I have went up the chain of command at school with no results. They Advised me to seek a attorney.
Submitted: 6 years ago.Category: Employment Law
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Answered in 4 minutes by:
3/5/2012
Employment Lawyer: Tina, Lawyer replied 6 years ago
Tina
Tina, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 33,167
Experience: JD, BBA, recognized by ABA for excellence.
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Hello and welcome,

Yes, you may have a cause of action against the instructor for defamation if they made false statements to others about you and you suffered damages as a result. The elements of such a case normally include:

  1. The statement, which must be about another person, must be false.
  2. The statement must be ‘published’ to a third party, who cannot also be the person who is being defamed. Publishing in this context does not mean that it must be printed, but purely that the statement has to be ‘made available’ to someone other than the person about whom the statement was made.
  3. If the nature of the statement is ‘of public concern’ the person who has published it must be at least liable in negligence. Public figures who seek to prove that they have been defamed must prove an additional element under the First Amendment of the US Constitution, that in publishing the statement the defendant was acting with ‘actual malice’ (by publishing something they know to be a lie) or at least to have a total disregard for whether the statement is true or not.
  4. The person about whom the defamatory statement is made must be ‘damaged’ by the statement. In some states, it is sufficient to establish that the plaintiff suffered ‘mental anguish’ as opposed to ‘damage.’

Here is a link that provides more information:

 

http://www.lawfirms.com/resources/personal-injury/libel-and-slander/elements-required-defamation.htm

 

If the statements were not false, you may have an invasion of privacy claim if the instructor had an obligation to maintain the confidentiality of the information they disclosed, such as medical information.

 

 

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