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Reacting to Negative Online Reviews

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Reacting to Negative Online Reviews

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March 3, 2014 Ossian Law P.C. IT Law Alert

Reacting to Negative Online Reviews: Your organization may become the subject of negative comments on its social media page or a third party site. How should you react? A review of two recent contested incidents may be useful.

Jane Perez wrote a negative Yelp review of Dietz Development accusing the company of damaging her home and stealing personal property. As a result of the review, Dietz filed a $750,000 defamation claim against Perez, who filed a defamation counterclaim against Dietz. A five-day jury trial took place last month in Virginia. The jury concluded that Perez and Dietz were each liable for defamation, but did not award damages to either party.

In a separate incident in 2008, Jen Palmer, a customer of KlearGear.com, wrote a negative review on Ripoffreport.com. Upon KlearGear’s request, Palmer tried to take the review down, but Ripoffreport would not remove it. Last year, Palmer’s husband received an email from KlearGear demanding $3500 for his wife’s failure to take down the negative review, a claimed violation of the company’s online terms of use. KlearGear later reported the $3500 “debt” as delinquent on Mr. Palmer’s credit report. In December 2013, Palmers sued KlearGear for alleged violations of the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act.

More information on the Perez/Dietz decision is available here.

A copy of the Palmer v Kleargear complaint is available here.

Contact us at Ossian Law P.C. regarding social media law or any other information technology law question.

 © 2014 Ossian Law P.C.
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