I left a negative review of a business on Yelp and received a cease and desist letter saying I was defaming the business. Long story short I had to put my dog down because of complications he received from a surgery. Because the vet clinic that did the surgery was not the one that put him down (I was not going to bring him back to the place that harmed him(, and there were theoretically expensive treatment options that may or may not have worked, the vet is claiming they did not kill my dog, and that I chose to have it done, and therefore I have defamed them. Out of principle, I am thinking about letting them sue me if my chances of winning are high under the Texas Anti-Slapp law.
I also think I have a good counter claim. 1. They killed my dog based on poor care 2. I chose the specialty vet clinic based on yelp reviews. It turns out a significant number or reviews were written by clinic employees. I think I may have a counter FTC and Texas Deception Trade Practices claim.
It is common for businesses to threaten reviewers with defamation lawsuits for leaving negative reviews. However it is perfect legal to leave reviews containing true facts and opinion. Defamation can only occur if you publish factually untrue statements, you knew or should have reasonably known that they were not true, and the subject suffered damages. You should discuss whether your post with a lawyer familiar with defamation law to see which your post falls under. The anti-SLAPP statute was designed to protect people like you. If they file a flimsy case against you, you may be able to use it to get the case dropped and recover your fees. Right now the cease and desist letter is just a letter. Discuss your options with a lawyer before taking any action.
All posts are for information purposes only and not legal advice. No attorney-client relationship exists until an engagement document is signed by both attorney and client.
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