Yelp Lawsuit Case Study: Finance Firm v. Yelp Reviewer
A brokerage firm filed a Yelp lawsuit against an unknown reviewer. Yelp doesn’t want to hand over the user information, but case law may not be on the review website’s side.
Another Yelp defamation lawsuit hit the courts. This time, a brokerage firm wants to sue a semi-anonymous reviewer for online defamation.
The Rhodes Team (“Rhodes”), a Texas brokerage firm, filed a defamation lawsuit against a Yelp! (“Yelp”) reviewer named “Lin L.” for typing on its page:
“[B]y far the worst deceitful and money greedy sales agent you would ever deal with.”
Previously, Rhodes enjoyed mostly 5-star ratings. Lin L.’s missive was a noticeable stain on Rhodes’ otherwise glowing Yelp profile.
Yelp Lawsuit Basis: “We’ve Never Had A Customer By That Name”
But team Rhodes is suspect of Lin L’s aspersions. Because according to company executives, no Lin L. has ever used their services. As such, Rhodes suspects the disparaging comment was the handy work of a competitor – a little “hate us because they ain’t us” (TM “The Interview”) action, if you will.
So, Rhodes initiated a “John Doe” Yelp lawsuit.
Yelp Doesn’t Want To Hand Over Information In Yelp Defamation Case
But Yelp doesn’t want to hand over Lin L.’s information and filed a motion in protest. The online review company, however, may be forced to give up the goods. Last year, a court forced Yelp to hand over identifying information in another anonymous defamation case involving a carpet store. Similar to this suit, the plaintiff in the carpet case was able to prove temporal incongruity between Yelp allegations and company records.
That said, just because the plaintiff emerged victorious in the carpet case doesn’t mean this court will automatically side with the claimant. Internet defamation is still a fairly new phenomenon, and precedent-setting case law varies from state to state.
To learn more about the basics of defamation law, and what you must prove to win a slander or libel lawsuit, head here. To read more about other anonymous online defamation cases, go here. If you’re ready to speak with an Internet defamation attorney, get in touch here.
Speak With A Lawyer Who Has Successfully Litigated Yelp Lawsuits and Solved Online Review Disputes
Kelly / Warner is a top-rated law firm with a respected Internet defamation practice. Our attorneys are skilled at discovery for – and deconstructing of – online trade libel and professional defamation cases. Our experience means we’re able to resolve most situations quickly and cost effectively.
The statute of limitation for defamation isn’t long; between 1 and 3 years depending on jurisdiction. Don’t delay. Get in touch with Kelly / Warner to consult more about a potential Yelp lawsuit or pending litigation.