Libel: Four elements necessary to establish a defamation action

“Four elements are necessary to establish a defamation action, whether for slander or libel, to wit: (1) defamatory language; (2) about the plaintiff; (3) which is published; and (4) which causes injury to reputation.” McBrearty v. Kentucky Community and Technical College System, 262 S.W.3d 205, 213 (Ky.App. 2008). A writing is defamatory when it subjects a person to public hatred, causes a person to be shunned, or injures a person’s occupation. Id. at 214. Notwithstanding, Kentucky adheres to the legal principle that the truth is an absolute defense for an action of libel regardless of the intent of the publishers. Bell v. Courier-Journal & Louisville Times Co., 402 S.W.2d 84, 87 (Ky. 1966).

From:  Akins v. The News Enterprise,  COA Published Decision, 1/28/2011

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