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Business owner threatening to sue for 1 star review

Discussion in 'Civil Court, Procedure & Litigation' started by mojojo, Jan 29, 2022.

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  1. mojojo

    mojojo Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
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    I posted a 1* review on Google for a business. It only says "Bad bbq".

    I never actually went there though. The business owner then responded to every negative review on his page stating my full name, hometown, and phone number.

    Is there anything to this? I realize you can be sued for anything, but I'm not exactly sure what actually can or is likely to happen.
     
  2. flyingron

    flyingron Well-Known Member

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    It's easy to threaten to sue.
    It's more involved to actually file the suit.
    It's harder to prevail.

    While ratings are opinions, it appears you did this not to express an opinion but explicitly to make a statement you knew to be untrue in order to harm this person's reputation. Since this doesn't rise to the level of defamation per se, he'll have to show some quantifiagble damage the post called.

    Why don't you remove your "review" and stop doing things like that. It will not bode well for you. By the way, you get no consideration for being doxed.
     
  3. mojojo

    mojojo Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I would remove it but I don't remember the account info

    "Bad bbq" is a statement I knew to be untrue? How so?

    And if it doesn't "rise to the level of defamation" what are the chances anything actually happens?

    Not arguing btw, just asking
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2022
  4. flyingron

    flyingron Well-Known Member

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    Because you never ate there so you have no personal knowledge, so you were lying about it being an evaluation of the food, a lie, or at least reckless disregard for the truth. It is what we call actionable libel.
     
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  5. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Unsocial media causes otherwise sane, responsible people to behave in brutish, boorish, uncouth ways.
     
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  6. mojojo

    mojojo Law Topic Starter New Member

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    So, what would be involved in order for him to prove he lost business?
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2022
  7. mojojo

    mojojo Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I was able to recover the account and remove the review.

    This came about over a fantasy football dispute. I won our league and he kicked me out in anger, calling me an "idiot" and "lucky". He did a little internet research and found my moms house. He left a voicemail with veiled threats and sent intimidating text messages. I had to alert my mom and sister about what he was doing. My sister was in a panic all day over his behavior. "Bad bbq" is pretty mild compared to what he did imo.
     
  8. flyingron

    flyingron Well-Known Member

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    Understand that insulting someone to their face is not actionable defamation. We have a theory in the law that your mommy should have taught you early on: two wrongs don't make a right.
     
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  9. mojojo

    mojojo Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Did I say it was? I do believe threatening messages and repeated unwanted contact would be considered harassment. Point being, if he wanted to sue for the review, he would ultimately have to answer for the harassment and intimidation he put my family through. I don't see how that would be beneficial if maintaining a good reputation is what he is after.Not to mention the time, stress, and legal fees it would cause for a relatively small potential monetary gain. And the risk of total loss.At least that's what I've heard from every attorney except for you.

    You sound like one hell of a prosecutor. I'll keep you in mind if I want to sue somebody.

    Anyway, as I said last night on another legal forum, and to a friend "two wrongs don't make a right" as I was able to recover my account and take down the review. I don't react nicely to threats made towards my family over fantasy football, and made an error in judgement at the time because of it. Thanks for the parental advice I guess? Thought this was a legal forum.

    Anyway, it doesn't matter this point. The review is down, and he took down the doxxing of my Mom's house. We've agreed it is beneficial to never speak again. Case closed.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2022
  10. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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    Did you file a complaint with the police when this person was threatening you/harassing you and your family? If not, why?
     
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  11. mojojo

    mojojo Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I was hoping to resolve the issue without escalating farther. Once we go down that road there's no going back, and nobody would likely be happy with the result. Given the circumstances it's understandable that I was upset and my judgement was clouded at the time. Speaking from a morality perspective at this point, because apparently that's what this forum has turned this discussion in to.

    And that's what happened. We made a truce. It's over.
     
  12. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    Correct.

    What is "likely to happen" is nothing, but you probably should stop posting fake reviews. What can happen...in the abstract world of all that is hypothetical...just about anything.

    It's not the statement itself that is untrue. Rather, the implicit statement that you had actually visited the restaurant is untrue. In other words, by posting an opinion, it implies that you actually at there so as to be able to form an opinion. That was a lie.

    So you were both being childish nobs. Got it.
     
  13. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    In that case, thread closed.
     
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