Wednesday, May 19, 2010

TN: Online review of condo triggers libel suit

We read:
"A Murfreesboro man thought his involvement with a Florida vacation condo would end with his scathing review of it, posted on an online forum. But those words could end up costing him $15,000.

Three years later, the owner is suing for damages, saying Jonathan Nicholls’ comments weren’t true and resulted in lost business. Nicholls and his wife were served the libel lawsuit last week over his post on, reviewing their September 2007 stay at Gumbo Limbo Vacation Rentals in Siesta Key, Fla.

The suit also names Tripadvisor as a defendant. ‘Tripadvisor is an open forum for reviews, and that’s what I did,’ said Nicholls, 29. ‘I feel like I’m being bullied for my opinion.’”


This is a fairly ambitious lawsuit. The condo owner would have to prove that the man did not give an accurate account of his experiences


Anonymous said...

Not only does he have to prove what the guy said was false but he has to do it three years after the fact! How many changes has the owner made to that property in three years?

Anonymous said...

The owner is a fool, as whatever happens will make his hotel suspect and he has given even more attention to it!

Anonymous said...

The owner is an idiot for two reasons.

Firstly, one bad review doesn't make your business fail - we regularly use TripAdvisor and read both good and bad reviews to make up our own minds. Frequently bad reviews say more about the reviewer than the property.

Secondly, I think the old adage that there is "no such thing as bad publicity" is likely to be wrong in this case. Would you want to stay with such a vindictive and nasty owner?

Anonymous said...

None of this is really the point guys.
The real aim here is to bully the reviewer into submission by the threat of substantial legal costs.
This is the real problem with these types of actions.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who stays in a place named "Gumbo Limbo" should get sued, or institutionalized!

Mark in Arizona said...

I stayed in a motel last year that the reviews were divided in to either 5 stars or 1 star. Everyone was at either of the two extremes in their reviews. I wasn't sure if the Queen was going to roll out a red carpet and drop roses petals in front of me as I walked to the lobby or if I was going to have to duck a driveby shooting in the parking lot and walk around the chalk outline of a body in my room.

After I stayed there I posted my review. I thought the people that gave it 1 star were too kind and the people who gave it 5 stars were on drugs. I guess I have two years before I get sued. Oh well, there is always Holdiday Inn.

Anonymous said...

I'd be very wary of any place that had reviews like this.
It suggests that the friends of the owner and very unhappy guests are the only ones reviewing.