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Can i sue a customer for posting false information about me and my business on line

Hopewell Junction, NY |

i am a small business owner in upstate ny. it is an auto garage and a customer is stating that i did things to his car that did not need to be done and that the things that needed to get done were not done, now he is posting on line all sorts of things

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Attorney answers 3


Simply answer if it is true, or opinion, probably no case. This is an aspect of technology that causes many a problem. Sometimes paying it no consideration is the best course. (I can relate). Good luck, Jeff Adams


Yes, you and your business would have a claim for libel and trade libel for the customer's provably false statements of facts made to a 3rd person. The customer can express his opinions without liability, e.g., that he thinks you're a lousy mechanic, but he can't post false facts.

Keep track of any negative comments you get from customers about these posts. You need to document your damages.

Keep in mind that suing someone for defaming you can be very costly, and requires you to bring in the 3rd parties who saw these statements and changed their opinion of you, and it also forces you to repeat the falsities that you wish had never been written --not to ention the emotional toll of being in litigation. It makes little sense to sue someone if your damages are hard to prove and if your defendant is not wealthy enough to satisfy a judgment.

You may also consider the practical and non-litigating approach of asking the websites to delete these posts. The websites themselves have immunity from suits because they're not responsible for what people write on their sites, but maybe they'd delete the posts or allow you to rebut them on the sites themselves.

See a business tort litigator for help.

Disclaimer: I'm only licensed in CA. Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, since each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.


Libel is publishing in print, which includes pictures, an untruth about another which will do harm to that person or his or her reputation, by tending to bring the target into ridicule, hatred, scorn or contempt of others. Contact a local defamation lawyer for a free consultation to protect your rights and reputation.

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