We had a bad dealing with a contractor we worked with on website design project for a client. They never completed the project but we offered to pay them the remaining balance just for access to the site so we could finish it. Instead they wanted us to pay that balance and a $2,500 penalty. We refused and wrote a review on Yelp detailing our experience. The business owner threatened us saying he if didn't remove the review, he would start a campaign to ensure we had to change our company name. The next day fake reviews on multiple websites popped up for our business. I have taken screenshots of these reviews. Do we have a case against him for libel, defamation, or something similar? If so we would like to explore our options.
I would say that the easiest thing is to try to work out an agreement where you both pull down your reviews, and put it behind you. Best not to cut off you nose to spite your face.
Yes, if you can prove it was him. You will also need to prove that you were damaged by the false statements. You should start keeping track of a downturn in phone calls and/or new business. You should consult with a local attorney immediately.
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We get calls about these types of cases all the time. I can tell you that you first have to prove that it was them and second you have to prove that you were damaged by their actions. I tell most people it is not worth the time and expense of filing a lawsuit. If they deny that it was them, how will you prove it was them. In a criminal defense practice we deal with getting records from internet providers and have found that to be very expensive and seldom productive. This case could end up costing you tens of thousand of dollars and you still may never collect a dime. I know that is not the answer you want but it is what experience has taught me.