In Colorado, defamation per se refers to certain types of defamatory statements that are inherently inflammatory and attack a person in intimate or other ways. Defamation per se is a defamatory statement that is actionable.
Defamation per se occurs when the defamatory statement is so obviously harmful that it does not require proof of actual damages. In other words, if the statement is clearly false and damaging, the person who was harmed by the statement does not need to prove that he or she suffered any damages to recover.
There are four categories of statements that are defamatory per se in Colorado:
- Statements accusing someone of having committed a crime
- Words imputing an infectious disease upon someone
- Statements imputing sexual promiscuity or unchastity upon someone
- Statements that prejudice someone in their profession, trade, or business.