MARCH 18, 2014
“Online Review Defamation Case: Venue v. Patron”
Kelly Warner Law Blog
An outdoor wedding venue in Oregon is suing a California resident over a terrible testimonial on Google Reviews. The presiding judge denied the defense’s motion to dismiss, deeming that statements of fact were made and that plaintiff has the right to move forward with the suit.
How This Online Review Defamation Suit Began
Our tale of online review defamation woe began in 2011. That year, friends of Christopher Liles got married at a venue called Dancing Deer Mountain. Apparently, good times were not had by Liles – and he blamed it on the establishment’s owner, Carol Neumann. “Disaster!!!!!” griped the unimpressed wedding guest. He also accused the owners of being “two faced” and “rude,” and quipped, “[the bridal suite was a] “tool shed that was painted pretty, but a tool shed all the same.”
According to Neumann, the venue suffered a severe reversal of fortune from the day the negative review hit the Internet. Instead of doing nothing, Neumann decided to file an online review defamation lawsuit.
Appeals Court Overturns Online Review Defamation Ruling; Advantage Plaintiff
At first, a lower court judge sided with the defendant and dismissed the case, citing anti-SLAPP statutes. But Neumann appealed – and low and behold, the Oregon Court of Appeals overturned the district court decision.
As for the defendant, his lawyer says his client is simply hyperbolic and was only expressing his strong opinion on Google Reviews.
An appeals judge, however, overturned the lower court’s decision. The judges ruled that the Josephs should be allowed to continue with case because the paper made factual statements that could be proven false.
Speak With An Online Review Defamation Lawyer
Are you entangled in a defamation situation? Are you interested in learning more about your legal options when it comes to online review defamation?