Earlier on Sunday, Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning described the HGH allegations made against him as “defamation,” a legal term of art that invites the question of whether he plans to sue.
Peter King of TheMMQB.com and NBC’s Football Night in America asked Manning whether he’ll sue, and here’s what Peyton told King: “Yeah, I probably will. I’m that angry.”
Of course, no lawsuit or any other strategy should be pursued based solely to diffuse anger. Filing a defamation case, which for a public figure involves a very high standard of proof, is one of the worst things to do in anger, because the pre-trial discovery process can lead to plenty of added frustration. Much of the plaintiff’s private life becomes fair game, with defense lawyers entitled to explore plenty of seemingly irrelevant facts in order to determine the plaintiff’s reputation before the alleged falsehood harmed the plaintiff’s image. Also, any claim for damages based on emotional distress arising from the false allegations invites a wide range of personal questions regarding other sources of stress in the plaintiff’s life, and regarding how the alleged stress from the defamatory statement affected overall happiness and well-being.