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Miami Business Law & Commercial Litigation > Blog > Business Financial Dispute > Can You Sue Someone For Leaving A Bad Review Online?

Can You Sue Someone For Leaving A Bad Review Online?

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If you’re running a business in Miami, you already know how important online reviews can be. Studies have shown that online buyers read reviews very carefully, and this information can have a tremendous impact on their final purchasing decision. But can you really sue someone for leaving a bad review online? The short answer is that it depends. However, it’s worth noting that the internet isn’t the “Wild West” that it once was. This online space is now much more heavily regulated. Defamation is defamation, wherever it might occur.

If you wish to explore this matter more thoroughly, it’s worth getting in touch with a qualified lawyer in Miami who specializes in business litigation. These legal professionals are extremely familiar with the subtleties of defamation law, and they can guide you towards a positive legal outcome. During your initial consultation, your attorney can advise you on how to proceed, and whether you can realistically pursue a lawsuit.

People Have Been Sued for Leaving Bad Reviews in Miami 

The first thing you need to know is that there is a legal precedent for these lawsuits. In September of 2021, it was reported that a plastic surgeon had sued many of his past patients for leaving negative online reviews. The surgeon, who participated in the reality TV show “Real Housewives of Miami,” sued one particular woman who admitted she had written at least 14 negative reviews on sites like Google and Yelp.

Seeing as she had written so many negative reviews, it seems as though she was actually impersonating different people, giving the impression that multiple people had experienced negative results instead of just one. Eventually, the surgeon filed for an injunction that prevented her from filing any additional negative comments. However, he did not receive a settlement for his damages.

When Does a Bad Review “Count” as Defamation? 

It’s important to realize that the US Constitution protects the right to free speech. If a customer has a genuinely terrible experience with a company, they are allowed to express their opinion and leave a negative review. However, they may be guilty of defamation if they lie about certain details of their experience.

An online review may also constitute defamation if the individual never interacted with the company in the first place. In some cases, rival companies leave anonymous, negative reviews on businesses that they are competing with. This may be difficult to prove, but it does constitute defamation. Lastly, it may be very difficult to sue someone for a “so-so” review, such as a rating of three out of five stars.

Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today 

For help from a skilled Miami business & financial dispute attorney, reach out to Alhalel Law. We appreciate how much of an impact these online reviews can have on your business, and we can help you hold negligent parties accountable. Defamation is illegal, whether it occurs in the physical world or the digital world. With our help, you can file a lawsuit and get your business back on track. Book your consultation today.

Resources:

cnbc.com/2019/10/10/can-you-get-sued-over-a-negative-yelp-review.html

insider.com/boob-god-sued-former-patients-get-negative-online-reviews-removec-2021-9

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