The other day I was on Facebook and came across something very interesting. One of my friends had made a comment (not a bad comment) on a story that had been posted by a lady regarding an incident that had happened over the weekend. This story involved the local Sheriff’s department and some of their deputies. It was not a pleasant or pretty story. In this store, the lady involved in the incident is telling a very horrible story and naming names. By the time I had started to read her story 936 people had posted a comment. Some of the comments included even more hateful stories than her story, some of them were sympathetic to her story, and others had just very negative things to say about her. Could there be an issue with slander or liabel here? With the things that were said, could this woman be sued for what she posted on Facebook? With the comments made about her, could this woman sue someone else for what was posted on-line about her?
Another common posting I’ve been seeing is about the Chick-fil-A interview. People have been on-line ranting and raving on both sides of this fence. Some are tearing down Mr. Cathy and his business and saying quite damaging things. On the other side, things are being said about the Jim Henson Company with the Muppets. Could any of this be considered slander or liabel?
At RCI Insurance, we write Oklahoma Insurance with a company called Safeco. Safeco had a claim turned in for Personal Injury aka slander. A teenager went on-line and was ranting and saying horrible things about her teacher. That teacher found out what was being said and sued the child and her parents. Because the parents had Personal Injury on their Home Insurance, the law suit was covered.
If you have a home insurance policy or a business policy, I suggest checking with your insurance agent to find out what it would cost to add Personal Injury coverage. Personal Injury can cover false arrest, wrongful eviction or entry, invasion of the right of privacy in a room or dwelling, slander and defamation, or the violation of the person’s right to privacy. Basically, it covers injury that doesn’t affect the body.
As for a business, there is now a Cyber Liability clause that can be added to your insurance. This would cover if someone hacked into your client files and stole their information to use for their profit or against you. The Cyber Liability will cover not only you but the clients whose files have been stolen. It covers the losses that acure from your files being hacked. An example of this would be when your credit card company calls you to say their files have been hacked and your personal information could be stolen. The Cyber Liability would cover the credit card company and it would cover you in the case of your identity being stolen. Also, if this ever happens to you and your credit card company is hacked, be sure to ask them about providing you with one year paid Identity Theft Protection. They should offer that protection to you.
In today’s world when people are no longer concerned with their fellow man, they just want to be right and voice their opinion, things can be said about you or you could be saying them. Remember, it’s really easy to sue someone now days. If you don’t have the insurance to cover yourself in the case of your being sued, be careful what you post on-line. The internet is a great tool and we’ve advanced as a society because of it. Just be aware of the dangers that come with it as well.