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HBO's Libel Lawsuit Probably Covered by General Liability Insurance

1. June 2015 07:59

soccer ball in mud

This lawsuit has it all: major corporations, high stakes, and defamation. Turns out, HBO has been embroiled in a defamation lawsuit brought by Mitre Sports International since 2008 (just thinking about the attorney fees may be enough to give you heart palpitations!).

According to Insurance Journal, here's what happened:

Though that may sound like good news, it's not all righteous roses for HBO. Mitre could still appeal the decision. Plus, the lawsuit was only just recently tried, which means the seven years leading up to this victory must have been a significant drain on resources, considering pre-trial motions require a ton of time and paperwork and attorney fees are a pretty penny.

HBO may be able to overcome those lost resources, but a small-business owner? The time constraints alone could be enough to threaten their survival.

Advertising Injury Lawsuits: They Can Happen to You

Unfortunately, it's not just mega entertainment corporations that have to worry about libel lawsuits. If you've ever accidentally spouted off about a competitor or past client in public, you could be in the same boat.

Don't believe it? Check out the freelancer who was sued over a tweet about a former client in the post "How Commercial General Liability Insurance Can Protect You from an $82,630 Tweet." And because social media often blurs the line between your professional and personal life, it's all too easy to make these mistakes online.

You can't be too careful with what your business publishes on its social media pages or website. That's why it pays to have a risk management plan in place that includes carrying General Liability Insurance. This policy may offer coverage when your business is sued over the following advertising injuries:

HBO probably had this kind of policy in place to help cover its extensive legal fees over the libel claim. So that's the other side of the coin: you don't have to be a big business to be sued, but you also don't have to be a big business to get the adequate financial protection you need to address a lawsuit.

Get Informed and Reduce Your Advertising Injury Risks

While it's wise to carry General Liability coverage as a fail safe, you should also do what you can to curb your risk exposures where you can. Good thing we have just the resource that can help you out: Tweet or Twibel: The Small-Business Owner's Guide to Advertising Injury.

This free eBook can help you figure out:

You know what they say: knowledge is power. Arm your business with information and put it to use.


Advertising Injury | General Liability Insurance | Small Business | Small Business Risk Management | Tips for All Small Businesses

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