Virginia Judge Forces Woman To Change Her Yelp Review
Jane Perez was sued by Dietz Development for $750,000 after posting negative reviews on Yelp and Angie’s List. Now a judge has ordered Perez to remove portions of her negative feedback. Perez accused Dietz for bad workmanship and jewelry theft in the reviews.
Police investigated the jewelry theft accusation and was unable to find any conclusive evidence. Dietz said that the negative reviews caused the company to lose out on potential customers. Dietz is asking for significant damages due to Perez’s reviews.
This past Wednesday, a judge issued a preliminary injunction ordering Perez to remove anything that labels Dietz employees as thieves. Dietz Development in Washington D.C. has around 32 reviews as of the time I wrote this and they have 1.5 out of 5 stars on Yelp.
Usually Yelp and Angie’s List are protected from litigation based on the Communications Deceny Act, but businesses can still sue for defamation and for what they believe could be false. Specifically in Virginia, a defendant can be found liable for defamation if a false claim about a business or person negatively impacts their reputation.