2022 Georgia Code
Title 51 - Torts
Chapter 5 - Libel and Slander
§ 51-5-4. Slander Defined; When Special Damage Required; When Damage Inferred

Universal Citation: GA Code § 51-5-4 (2022)
  1. Slander or oral defamation consists in:
    1. Imputing to another a crime punishable by law;
    2. Charging a person with having some contagious disorder or with being guilty of some debasing act which may exclude him from society;
    3. Making charges against another in reference to his trade, office, or profession, calculated to injure him therein; or
    4. Uttering any disparaging words productive of special damage which flows naturally therefrom.
  2. In the situation described in paragraph (4) of subsection (a) of this Code section, special damage is essential to support an action; in the situations described in paragraphs (1) through (3) of subsection (a) of this Code section, damage is inferred.

History. Orig. Code 1863, § 2919; Code 1868, § 2926; Code 1873, § 2977; Code 1882, § 2977; Civil Code 1895, § 3837; Civil Code 1910, § 4433; Code 1933, § 105-702.

Cross references.

Form to be used in action for words, § 9-10-204 .

Law reviews.

For comment on Braden v. Baugham, 74 Ga. App. 802 , 41 S.E.2d 581 (1947), see 9 Ga. B. J. 456 (1947).

For comment on Woolf v. Colonial Stores, Inc., 76 Ga. App. 565 , 46 S.E.2d 620 (1948), see 11 Ga. B. J. 70 (1948).

For comment discussing slander in reference to one’s business or occupation, in light of Keefe v. O’Brien, 203 Misc. 113, 116 N.Y.S.2d 286 (S. Ct. 1952), holding that words accusing labor leader of communism insufficient to constitute slander per se as words did not concern person in his occupation, see 15 Ga. B. J. 357 (1953).

For comment on American Broadcasting-Paramount Theatres, Inc. v. Simpson, 106 Ga. App. 230 , 126 S.E.2d 873 (1962), see 25 Ga. B. J. 310 (1963).

For comment on Hinkle v. Alexander, 244 Ore. 267, 417 P.2d 586 (1966), suggesting adoption by Georgia of a uniform rule on proof of damages in libel actions, see 18 Mercer L. Rev. 297 (1966).

For article, “Defamation and Invasion of Privacy,” see 27 Ga. St. B. J. 18 (1990).

For annual survey article on tort law, see 50 Mercer L. Rev. 335 (1998).

For survey article on law of torts, see 59 Mercer L. Rev. 397 (2007).

For survey article on tort law, see 60 Mercer L. Rev. 375 (2008).

For note, “The Great Escape: How One Plaintiff’s Sidestep of a Mandatory Arbitration Clause Was Applied to a Class in Bickerstaff v. SunTrust Bank,” see 68 Mercer L. Rev. 539 (2017).

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