Thousand Oaks, CA asked in Civil Litigation, Libel & Slander and Sexual Harassment for California

Q: I workout at a 24 hr fitness. Last week someone made a false claim and then spread rumors. Can I sue them?

I workout at a 24hr fitness in California. A manager approached me and wanted to talk to me. In his office, with a front desk employee listening he said a member that was a minor filed a report that I sexually harassed them. Also they accused me of taking photos or videos of them. I have no clue who it could be. I never take photos or vids of anyone. And since they were a minor he couldn’t say who it was. I said check my phone right now. He said no. I told him to check the video cameras and pretend you were in this situation. How am I supposed to defend myself in this? They won’t let me. He said my membership is temporarily suspended. And someone will eventually call. That night I got two different texts from members saying “ we heard you were kicked out of 24 because you raped someone!!!” I just want a lawyer to help me defend myself. Maybe give a phone call or write a letter on my behalf. It’s been a week already. Can I sue for defamation? I’m going to a therapist now.

2 Lawyer Answers
James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: If what the person said was factually false, and it negatively hurt your reputation, then you have a right to sue for defamation of character and recover monetary damages. I think you have a good case and should contact a lawyer. I would be happy to give you a free consultation.

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen
  • Westminster, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Unfortunately, this Q&A site is not a place where you can ask attorneys to work for you. No one here should respond to your post with an offer to do so.

If what you have described has occurred and you can prove it and if you can prove the statements made about you are false, then you might have a defamation claim. The question would be who did the defaming, and if they have sufficient assets to make the effort worth it.

It would be a good idea for you to locate and consult with an attorney about this.

Good luck to you.

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