Libel is categorized as a tort or personal injury. Libel generally means a false malicious statement, expressed either by printing, signs, pictures or the like, tending to blacken the memory of one who is dead, or to impeach the honesty, integrity, virtue or reputation, or publish the natural defects of one who is alive, and thereby to expose him or her to public hatred, contempt or ridicule. See also Slander.
Generally if the written statement is proven untrue, the plaintiff may be legally entitled to collect damages and at the very least demand a statement of retraction. If the defamer is proven to have been motivated by ill will or malice, punitive damages may be awarded by courts or juries.
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