Question: Cinquanta needed repairs to a neon sign hanging in front
Cinquanta needed repairs to a neon sign hanging in front of his restaurant. He asked Burdett to do the repairs. Upon completion, a disagreement occurred over payment of the cost of the repairs. Cinquanta claimed that the insurance company would pay, but Burdett wanted his money immediately, which did not happen. One evening Burdett and some of his friends went to the restaurant and ordered expensive meals but refused to pay the bill. Cinquanta insisted on payment and would not accept Burdett’s request to substitute the cost of the meals as payment for the repairs. Burdett, in front of his friends and other patrons in the restaurant, called Cinquanta a “crook” and a “ deadbeat,” claiming that the insurance company had not paid the bill for the repairs. Cinquanta sued Burdett for slander, claiming injury to his reputation as a business owner. Was Burdett’s statement grounds for slander?
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