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Recently, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, clarified a point of defamation law which had created confusion over the years:  Whether a false statement imputing an association with a criminal enterprise, such as a street gang, can support a cause of action for defamation per se (statements that are so obviously and naturally harmful on their face that they are actionable without proof of special damages). In Hardiman v. Aslam, 2019 IL App (1st) 173196, an on-air “teaser” for a television newscast stated, “A former gang member who was once accused of beating his wife wants to be your governor.&rdquo

Continue Reading Statements imputing gang membership not actionable as defamation per se