Posting Negative Reviews? You Could Face Legal Issues!Submitted by silentboom on Mon, 01/07/2013 - 14:47
If you are mad as hell about a consumer experience you’ve had, you may want to exercise your right of free speech to express your dismay in a public forum – these days, by posting a negative review on a site like Yelp or Angie’s List.
But a lawsuit in Virginia may make you think twice about how exactly to word your gripe to avoid provoking a defamation lawsuit that could cost you, whether you end up guilty of defamation or not. At a time when consumers routinely rely on what other consumers have to say about products and services, the case has bearing on the boundaries of online behavior.
The Virginia dispute started when homeowner Jane Perez posted negative comments about Washington, D.C.-area contractor Christopher Dietz to Yelp and Angie’s List in the fall of 2012. Perez’s comments accused the contractor of stealing her jewelry and charging her for work that was never done, according to a lawsuit filed by Dietz accusing Perez of defamation.