Skip to main content

I posted a review for a service on Google which was an honest account of the service I received. They threatened a Libel Suit.

Atlanta, GA |

The information is true and correct and I listed everything that caused me a hardship on a google review. I just received a libel suit threat from that company by email. He copied his entire staff and told them to prepare for new direction and a potential libel suit. I assumed that is what Google reviews were for. It allows 1 to 5 stars and allows you comment.

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

This is an increasingly common activity among well-funded businesses who don't like reviews that consumers leave for them. Here is an example: http://www.citmedialaw.org/threats/route-60-hyundai-v-alascio

One of the ways you can protect yourself is to let the Citizen Media Law Project know about the threat. They likely have attorneys in your state who can help you.

As a general legal principle, truth is the ultimate defense to a defamation claim. However, in the consumer review context, opinion matters as well. "Under the First Amendment there is no such thing as a false idea. However pernicious an opinion may seem, we depend for its correction not on the conscience of judges and juries, but on the competition of other ideas. But there is no constitutional value in false statements of fact.” Gertz v. Robert Welch, Inc., 418 U.S. 323, 339-40 (1974).. An alleged defamatory statement “must be provable as false before there can be liability under state defamation law.” Milkovich v. Lorain Journal Co., 497 U.S. 1, 19 (1990).

Therefore, unless you made a false statement of fact, a defamation claim against you will be exceedingly weak. However, you need to consult with a Georgia attorney, as defamation is a mixed creature of state and federal law. The claim is defined by state law, but federal constitutional principles will come into play in your defense.

Mark as helpful

1 found this helpful

2 lawyers agree

1 comment

Jacob Adam Regar

Jacob Adam Regar

Posted

Very good answer!

Posted

Truth is an absolute defense to a defamation action, such as libel and slander.

This might be a tactic this particular business uses in an attempt to intimidate individuals who have posted honest, truthful, yet negative reviews. If true, this is a shameful business practice. Consider reporting the business' actions to your local Better Business Bureau office or even your local newspaper or television station.

Disclaimer: This does not constitute legal advice. No attorney-client relationship has been formed through this answer.

Mark as helpful

1 found this helpful

6 lawyers agree

1 comment

Harry Edward Hudson Jr

Harry Edward Hudson Jr

Posted

Excellent suggestions all. And save all communications from thhis person and make no threats. Better yet, do not respond.

Posted

Truth is a complete defense to defamation.

Licensed in PA & NJ. 29% Contingency Fee. Phone: 215-510-6755 www.InjuryLawyerPhiladelphia.com

Mark as helpful

1 found this helpful

3 lawyers agree

Personal injury topics

Top tips from attorneys

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics