Living Persons and Existing Entities - AMA Manual of Style

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Living Persons and Existing Entities 

Ethical and Legal Considerations

Annette Flanagin

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Living Persons and Existing Entities

A statement generally cannot be libelous unless it is “of and concerning” a living person or existing entity (eg, corporation, institution, or organization).2,3,7 According to a 1992 case, Gugliuzza v KCMC, Inc, “once a person is dead, there is not extant reputation to injure or for the law to protect.”14 Even when the living person or entity is not named in the statement, if the person’s or corporation’s identity can be determined from other published facts, a case for libel can be made.4(p150)

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