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Yelp Review Case in California Gets a Second Look by Court

Image: Yelp Review Case in California Gets a Second Look by Court

In this 2014, file photo, Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman poses at his company's headquarters in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)

By    |   Thursday, 22 Sep 2016 11:23 AM

A defamation case related to Yelp reviews will get a second look after the California Supreme Court voted to review a 2013 case in which a San Francisco law firm sued a former client over negative comments posted on Yelp.

The lawsuit, brought on by the firm’s owner Dawn Hassell, accused former client Ava Bird of posting false claims on their Yelp page, giving the firm a one-star rating. Hassle originally received support from lower courts who agreed that Yelp should be forced to remove the comments, The Los Angeles Times reported.

The firm initially reached out to Bird in an email, informing her that her comments were inaccurate and defamatory. However, the comments remained, ultimately leading to the defamation suit.

“This case is not one of a ‘bad review’” Hassell’s attorney Monique Olivier said in a statement, according to ABC News. “It is a case where a court adjudicated statements to be defamatory after receiving and reviewing evidence about the falsity of those statements.”

Aaron Schur, Yelp’s senior director of litigation, told ABC News that “the lower court’s decision is ripe for abuse, contradicts longstanding legal principles, and restricts the ability of websites to provide a balanced spectrum of views online.”

Internet juggernauts like Facebook, Twitter and Microsoft wrote in a letter to the California Supreme Court that the ruling “radically departs from a large, unanimous and settled body of federal and state court precedent,” ABC News noted. They also said a ruling against Yelp could “silence a vast quantity of protected and important speech.”

Courts have ruled that a 1996 federal law protects internet companies from liability for posts made by third-party users.

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A defamation case related to Yelp reviews will get a second look after the California Supreme Court voted to review a 2013 case in which a San Francisco law firm sued a former client over negative comments posted on Yelp.
yelp, review, lawsuit, california
277
2016-23-22
Thursday, 22 Sep 2016 11:23 AM
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