Malicious falsehood is a false statement made maliciously that causes damage to the claimant. Malicious in this case means the defendant either knew the statement was not true or did not take proper care to check. It is often covered under laws regarding defamation.
England and Wales
Proof of special damage
Section 3(1) of the Defamation Act 1952 reads:
- (a) if the words upon which the action is founded are calculated to cause pecuniary damage to the plaintiff and are published in writing or other permanent form; or
- (b) if the said words are calculated to cause pecuniary damage to the plaintiff in respect of any office, profession, calling, trade or business held or carried on by him at the time of the publication.
This implements a recommendation of the Porter Committee
For the purposes of section 3 of the Defamation Act 1952, the publication of words (including pictures, visual images, gestures and other methods of signifying meaning) in the course of a performance of a play is, subject to section 7 of the Theatres Act 1968, treated as publication in permanent form.
- Ajinimoto Sweeteners Europe SAS v Asda Stores Ltd [2009 EWHC 1717 (QB), a UK decision relating to malicious falsehood
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