Innuendo is a legal concept that is related to tort and personal injury law. The word is derived from innuere, the Latin word that means to nod forward. In legal terms, innuendo is used in a lawsuit to describe defamation from libel or slander. It usually shows that the plaintiff had bad comments made about him and that the comments were in fact defamatory.
The innuendo is usually just used in actions for slander. An innuendo can be only explanatory of some other matter expressed. It must also serve to apply the given slander to the precedent matter, white not enlarging, extending, or changing the idea of the previous words. Innuendo typically refers to a condition where a person explains a factual situation, yet an incorrect interpretation is derived from it.
Furthermore, the issue to which the innuendo alludes to must always show from the antecedent end of the indictment or declaration. This is needed when the intent can be mistaken, or when it cannot be obtained from the slander or libel itself.
If the innuendo enlarges the idea of the words, it can vitiate the indictment or declaration. But if the new matter stated within an innuendo does not need to support the action, it can be rejected as surplusage.
There are two major types of innuendo. The first is false innuendo. It is a defamatory statement made that has an implied meaning, so only individuals who have the necessary contextual knowledge can appreciate and understand that the comment is defamatory. This may require some sort of cultural, geographic information.
There is also legal innuendo. While this is not defamatory on its face, a legal innuendo statement can be defamatory when combined with certain extrinsic or outside circumstances. This contextual information may cause a statement to be considered defamatory in a certain jurisdiction while not another.
When looking at legal precedent, strict liability rule is applied to legal innuendo. This is the standard level of liability that specifies what makes an individually legally responsible. Strict liability requires imposing liability on a particular party without finding a reason for the fault, such as tortious intent or negligence. In this situation, the defendant must have been proved to be responsible and that the torn in question did happen.