Review - Commercial & Dispute Resolution

    October 2009

    Where a false statement is made about an individual or business, it may be possible to make a claim on the basis of malicious falsehood, where more common causes of action, such as defamation, are not appropriate. For example, it is becoming increasingly common to use malicious falsehood as a cause of action to prevent disparaging statements about a company's goods or services being made by a competitor in a comparative advertisement.

    Malice will be inferred it if is proved that the words were calculated to produce damage and that the Defendant knew when he published the words that they were false or was reckless as to whether they were false or not. For example, if the defendant did not believe what was said or did not care whether or not it was true then this may be enough to infer malice.