In order to establish a prima facie case of defamation, a plaintiff must prove:

  • a false and defamatory statement by defendant concerning the plaintiff;
  • an unprivileged publication to a third person;
  • fault, amounting to at least negligence; and
  • actual or presumed damages.

Chowdhry v. NLVH, Inc., 109 Nev. 478, 483, 851 P.2d 459 (1993)(citing Restatement (Second) of Torts, § 558 (1977)).

If the defamation tends to injure the plaintiff in his or her business or profession, it is deemed defamation per se, and damages will be presumed.

Chowdhry v. NLVH, Inc., 109 Nev. 478, 483-84, 851 P.2d 459 (1993).

Example Cases


  • Whether a statement could be construed as defamatory is a question of law

Whether a statement is capable of a defamatory construction is a question of law. Branda v. Sanford, 97 Nev. 643, 646, 637 P.2d 1223, 1225 (1981). A jury question arises when the statement is susceptible of different meanings, one of which is defamatory. Id.

Chowdhry v. NLVH, Inc., 109 Nev. 478, 483-84, 851 P.2d 459 (1993).

  • Whether a statement is true/false is a question of fact

Accordingly, a jury must be allowed to determine whether the statement has any “basis in truth,” Wellman, 108 Nev. at 88, 825 P.2d at 211, since the truth or falsity of an allegedly defamatory statement is an issue of fact properly left to the jury for resolution. Nevada Ind. Broadcasting v. Allen, 99 Nev. 404, 413, 664 P.2d 337, 343 (1983).

Posadas v. City of Reno, 109 Nev. 448, 453, 851 P.2d 438, 442 (1993)