In New Jersey, the elements of trade libel, also known as product disparagement, are “1) publication; 2) with malice; 3) of false allegations concerning [the plaintiff’s] property, product or business, and 4) special damages, i.e. pecuniary harm.” Mayflower Transit, LLC v. Prince, 314 F. Supp. 2d 362, 377 (D.N.J. 2004).
“A product disparagement plaintiff [in New Jersey] must show ‘the publication of matter derogatory to plaintiff’s business in general of a kind calculated to prevent others from dealing with plaintiff or otherwise to disadvantageously interfere with plaintiff’s relations with others.” Mayflower Transit, LLC, 314 F. Supp.2d at 377 (quoting Binkewitz v. Allstate Ins. Co., 537 A.2d 723, 222 N.J. Super. 501, 516 n.8 (N.J. App. Div. 1988)); see also Patel v. Soriano, 848 A.2d 803, 834, 369 N.J. Super. 192 (N.J. App. Div. 2004).
“The communication must be made to a third person and must play a material part in inducing others not to deal with plaintiff.” Patel, 848 A.2d at 834.