A couple of years ago, Jacquelyn Hammond allegedly posted just one sentence about a former co-worker, without actually mentioning the woman by name. That in itself shouldn’t be a problem. Right?
Well, not exactly. The post said, “I didn’t get drunk and kill my kid.” According to the complaint, Hammond was referring to the son of a colleague, who died in a gun accident with another boy back in 1976. That colleague, who is the plaintiff in the current case, Davyne Dial, was not drunk when she lost her son, and she wasn’t responsible for his death, either.
She therefore had grounds to say that Hammond’s post actually constituted a libelous statement, and sued her in 2015. (These type of defamation lawsuits can be made on grounds of libel, which means a written statement is defamatory, or slander, which is a spoken defamatory claim.)
The lawsuit was finally settled. Now, Hammond will have to pay Dial $250,000 in actual damages for the defamation and emotional distress, and she will also have to shell out an extra $250,000 in punitive damages. Her single sentence post came at a cost of a whooping $500,000.
If you have a personal injury endorsement on your homeowners policy, the insurance company will hire a lawyer to defend you and pay a claim in a situation like this.
The lessons from story are to make sure your homeowners policy has personal injury coverage, AND don’t make a post like Jacqueline Hammond did!
Emerge Insurance Agency recommends that everyone purchase the personal injury endorsement on their home insurance policy.
Call us with any question: 904-677-5884