Last week’s post discussed the ways in which libel and slander can hurt your business. To recap, these involve someone who might defame your company by making a false statement that others hear or read, which in turn can harm your business. At the Aldrich Law Firm, Ltd., we understand that social media and online review sites may allow your business and other Las Vegas companies to be negatively affected by libelous statements. However, before you decide on legal action, you will need to understand the difference between a reviewer who has a legitimate complaint and one who is truly committing libel.
According to Yahoo! Finance, a libelous review against your company would likely include outrageous claims or untruths meant to destroy your reputation and discourage potential clients. One example involved a woman in Virginia, who took to the website Yelp to say that a contractor performed substandard work and stole jewelry during a renovation of her home. The contractor sued, and a jury found her guilty of defamation. However, since the contractor had also made allegedly false accusations of his own, he was found guilty as well, and the lawsuit was considered a wash.
Some customers’ complaints may be legitimate, whether or not you disagree. If you own a restaurant and a diner was unhappy with the service, she would have every right to post about it on a review site for others to read. Other customers may have had perfectly enjoyable experiences at your restaurant, which they are also free to post about. The unhappy customer’s honest experience about the service is what separates a real review from one in which, for example, she might falsely state that the server swore at her and made threats.
Negative reviews are not pleasant, and some may give you a valid reason to fight back. Fortunately, you have ways to deal with libelous reviews, which can range from contacting the review site to taking legal action. You may learn more about business lawsuits by visiting our civil litigation page.