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Retail Credit v. Russell

218 S.E.2d 54 (1975)

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Retail Credit v. Russell

Georgia Supreme Court

218 S.E.2d 54 (1975)

Facts

Retail Credit Company (defendant) ran a background and credit check on Russell (plaintiff). The report inaccurately stated that Russell was dismissed from a previous employer for embezzlement. Russell obtained a letter from the previous employer that refuted the misinformation. Russell presented the letter to Retail Credit, which assured Russell that it would correct its records. The correction never occurred. Russell made multiple attempts to obtain both a correction and the names of companies to which the inaccurate report had been sent. Finding no success, Russell brought a libel action against Retail Credit. The trial court found in favor of Russell, awarding damages and enjoining Retail Credit from further publication of the libelous misinformation. Retail Credit appealed, arguing that it was entitled to a conditional privilege as a reporting agency and that the injunction amounted to unconstitutional prior restraint. The Georgia Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Hall, J.)

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