Negative online reviews can put a ding in your businesses reputation, but one small-business owner has decided to sue a dissatisfied customer over negative statements she made online. Christopher Dietz and his Washington, D.C.-based company, Dietz Development, filed suit in October against Jane Perez alleging that Perez made defamatory statements about Dietz on Yelp and Angie’s List that harmed his reputation and business to the tune of $750,000.
According to the complaint, Perez hired Dietz, a former high school classmate, to do some work on her new home. The trouble began after Perez allegedly failed to pay Dietz Development for any work performed and insisted work be completed that, according to Dietz, was outside the scope of the agreement. Beginning in January, Perez began posting negative reviews of Dietz Development on Angie’s List and Yelp, alleging that Dietz stole property from her home, damaged her property, and engaged in improper billing.
According to the Washington Post, on December 5th a judge granted a preliminary injunction, ordering Perez to refrain from making statements alleging property theft by Dietz or referring to a previous lawsuit between the parties. On recent visit to Dietz’s Yelp page, the Perez post was no longer displaying.
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