A Virginia contractor is suing the woman who posted a negative review of his work on two websites. The suit claims defamation and seeks $750,000 in damages.
In her write-ups on the popular business review sites Yelp and Angie’s List, Perez accused the company of damaging her house, trespassing and stealing jewelry. On Wednesday, Judge Thomas FortKort granted a temporary injunction in favor of Dietz Development and ordered Perez to change parts of her online review to remove the reference to the stolen jewelry. ‘I found my jewelry missing and Dietz was the only one with a key,’ Perez wrote in the review. A police investigation found no connection between the missing jewelry and Dietz or his company.
Free speech advocates say that businesses who receive poor online reviews are increasing turning to the courts. Several similar high-profile suits have been filed in recent years. Legal experts say the law has not yet caught up with the advent of online defamation claims.