Can You Be Sued for A Negative Review?

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Can You Be Sued for A Negative Review?
Online Free Speech Could Be Threatened As Judge Orders Removal of Some Yelp, Angie’s List Reviews; Poster Sued for Negative Post

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Can You Be Sued for A Negative Review?

  1. 1. Can You Be Sued for A Negative Review?• Online Free Speech Could Be Threatened As Judge Orders Removal of Some Yelp, Angie’s List Reviews; Poster Sued for Negative Post www.recoverreputation.comRecover 347-421-7598Reputation
  2. 2. Can You Be Sued for A Negative Review?• A Virginia woman must remove parts of a review on Yelp and Angie’s List after being sued for libel.• Additionally, the judge ruled that she cannot post the barred information on new sites, and she is being sued for the negative post. www.recoverreputation.comRecover 347-421-7598Reputation
  3. 3. Can You Be Sued for A Negative Review?• Is this a banning of free speech, or a just a business protecting their online reputation ?• The implications of this are wide ranging and could ripple throughout the internet on sites like Yelp and beyond. www.recoverreputation.comRecover 347-421-7598Reputation
  4. 4. Can You Be Sued for A Negative Review?• It started when a Jane Perez asked a Washington D.C., contractor, Christopher Dietz, to make minor updates to her Fairfax County townhouse.• But as the relationship quickly turned bad, Perez posted a very negative one star review on Yelp and a similar poor assessment on Angies List. www.recoverreputation.comRecover 347-421-7598Reputation
  5. 5. Can You Be Sued for A Negative Review?• In June of 2011, Dietz took Perez to court claiming that her online reviews were false and damaging and resulted in $300,000 in lost business.• He sued her for more than double that amount, $750,000. www.recoverreputation.comRecover 347-421-7598Reputation
  6. 6. Can You Be Sued for A Negative Review?• Some of the charges levied against the contractor included work not performed, damage to her home and jewelry that went missing during Dietz’s time in the house. www.recoverreputation.comRecover 347-421-7598Reputation
  7. 7. Can You Be Sued for A Negative Review?• The judge ruled that Perez cannot imply that Dietz stole jewelry and those comments must be removed and not spread to other sites online. www.recoverreputation.comRecover 347-421-7598Reputation
  8. 8. Can You Be Sued for A Negative Review?• Usually, as is in Virginia, libel is when someone states or implies a false statement is true and this cause’s harm to their reputation.• This differs from opinions which are generally protected by the First Amendment. www.recoverreputation.comRecover 347-421-7598Reputation
  9. 9. Can You Be Sued for A Negative Review?• Reviews on sites such as Yelp are becoming more important to professionals such as lawyers, physicians, financial planners, and others.• So too are legal actions over online reputations. www.recoverreputation.comRecover 347-421-7598Reputation
  10. 10. Can You Be Sued for A Negative Review?• Some free speech advocates view such suits as attempts to stifle freedom of speech; disgruntled customers see online posts the only way to fight back against bad business practices by companies. www.recoverreputation.comRecover 347-421-7598Reputation
  11. 11. Can You Be Sued for A Negative Review?• On the other hand business owners say they are being forced to fight back because a false online review or post can cause serious damage to their online reputation and businesses. www.recoverreputation.comRecover 347-421-7598Reputation
  12. 12. Can You Be Sued for A Negative Review?• A trial has not been set for the court to weigh in on the libel claims. www.recoverreputation.comRecover 347-421-7598Reputation
  13. 13. Can You Be Sued for A Negative Review?• What could this mean for consumers? Internet review sites have become the “David” against the “Golith” of bad business dealings. www.recoverreputation.comRecover 347-421-7598Reputation
  14. 14. Can You Be Sued for A Negative Review?• Could a negative post against a dentist be turned into an expensive liability for the poster?• What if a legitimate gripe was written online but was pursued extensively by a deep-pocketed legal team and resulted in forcing the post to be removed AND the poster to be sued. www.recoverreputation.comRecover 347-421-7598Reputation
  15. 15. Can You Be Sued for A Negative Review?• This could scare innocent consumers from making online comments and greatly reduce the freedom of the internet. www.recoverreputation.comRecover 347-421-7598Reputation
  16. 16. Can You Be Sued for A Negative Review?• On the other hand, there are a slew of false, baseless and wrong reviews written online.• A ruling could help police the “Wild West” of the internet reviews where anyone can create an anonymous account and post a scathing comment on sites like ComplaintsBoard.com, Scam.com, and a half dozen others. www.recoverreputation.comRecover 347-421-7598Reputation
  17. 17. Can You Be Sued for A Negative Review?• These sites currently are shielded by the First Amendment, but could largely disappear.• Competitors have found these sites an excellent way to tarnish and destroy a rival company, and removing these comments would be a victory for businesses defending their online reputation. www.recoverreputation.comRecover 347-421-7598Reputation
  18. 18. Can You Be Sued for A Negative Review?• The irony is that in suing the client and the resulting publicity surrounding the case, Dietz’s online reputation is damaged almost beyond repair—or much more so than if he did nothing, addressed this issue himself or hired an online reputation management firm. www.recoverreputation.comRecover 347-421-7598Reputation
  19. 19. Can You Be Sued for A Negative Review?• The implications of this case and others like it that are cropping up are important to both free speech and online reputation managemen . www.recoverreputation.comRecover 347-421-7598Reputation

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