Floridian Susan Cedeno purchased a hot tub from the Spa King in April. Unfortunately, she claims the tub never worked, even after several attempts at repairs. Intent on sharing her experience, Ms. Cedeno headed straight for RipOff Report. Now, Spa King is suing Ms. Cedeno for libel.
The company claims they lost over $20,000 because of Ms. Cedeno’s negative comments.
Ms. Cedeno has no intention of paying for the tub. “The spa leaked the first time I used it,” she explained, “so (the Spa King) had it repaired. But then it leaked again. My carpet stank from the water and I wanted a refund.”
Cedeno then said she tried to bring the tub back. The company said they would take the spa back if she paid a 10% restocking fee. Due to a “no return” policy, Cedeno’s options were limited. The other alternative was to give her a new spa to the tune of $800, the cost of which would come out of her pocket.
“I didn’t want another used spa at that point because it was already a bad experience,” said Cedeno.
Ms. Cedeno decided to try a different route. She worked with her credit card company and had the charge removed.
She claims that Chris Weiss, the owner of Spa King subsequently reached out to her, demanding she take down her negative post or write another post saying that Spa King had given her new spa, and she was now satisfied with their service. Cedeno says Weiss threatened her with a libel lawsuit if she did not comply with his demand.
Ms. Cedeno stood by her statement.
So, Mr. Weiss made good on his promise and is now suing Cedeno for libel. The suit claims her posting tarnished Spa Kings’ reputation and made the retail public lose trust in the company.
Ms. Cedeno is ready to go to court to defend her freedom of speech. She feels it is her right to tell her side of the story. She also feels Mr. Weiss was infringing on her Constitutional right to speak her mind.
In order to win this trade libel lawsuit, Spa King will have to prove that Cedeno’s comments caused material harm. They’ll also have to prove that Cedeno is being less than truthful.
If you need a trade libel lawyer, contact Kelly Warner Law.