A well-known social media influencer went on live video and shared what he believed to be his honest and truthful concerns about the alleged wrongful conduct of another influencer and business owner. The intent behind his livestream was to do social good and protect his social media community.
Shortly after that, the subject of the live video filed a $5,000,000 defamation lawsuit alleging among other things, financial losses, emotional distress, and punitive damages.
My law firm was retained to step in and provide a legal defense in the case. We formally appeared in the action and filed an Answer denying all allegations. We also filed a cross-complaint against the other person alleging that he was the actual wrongdoer. In fact, this was one of the reasons behind our client doing the livestream in the in the first place.
We aggressively litigated the lawsuit for about nine months. We conducted written discovery, opposed motions, and took the depositions of all parties. A trial date was set for November.
From the very beginning, we took the position that our client simply shared true and accurate facts, did nothing wrong, and would never pay a dime to settle the case.
After much work and effort, we’re happy to report that several days ago, the entire $5M case was dismissed by the other side. Not a single penny was paid by our client to the other side who brought the lawsuit.
My client and I believe the moral of this true story is never to be afraid to stand up for your rights. If you’ve done nothing wrong, draw a line in the sand and use the law to protect yourself, your family, your business and your community.
Having said that, another reminder for our social media community is to avoid putting yourself in this situation in the first place. Yes, not looking the other way and doing the right thing to protect others is always the right thing to do. But when it’s time to take action, please be careful how you go about doing things. My recommendation is that if you have a legal concern, don’t take things into your own hands. Instead, reach out to experienced legal counsel to get things handled and resolved.
The good news for our social media influencer is that we were able to put our thirty years of experience to work to help make this entire case go away. It’s important to understand that each case is different and things don’t always work out this way. When cases do go to trial, you never know what a jury will do. For this reason, be careful before posting and sharing your legal concerns about other people or companies on the digital platforms.
When it comes to making statements about others on social media, truth is usually a valid defense. Understanding this fact, my recommendation is always to be careful with what you say and do on social media. Even when you have good intentions and tell the truth, your words may have long term good and bad consequences.
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