Contractor Sues Homeowner for Negative Yelp, Angie's List Reviews

As part of a growing trend among business owners facing negative online reviews, a Washington, D.C.-based construction contractor has sued a client for $750,000 for posting negative reviews of the firm on the local directory services Yelp and Angie's List, according to the Washington Post.

Contractor Christopher Dietz on Oct. 31 filed an Internet defamation suit against Fairfax, Va., resident Jane Perez. In her online review, Perez accused Dietz of damaging her home and said she was invoiced for work not performed. Perez also accused Dietz of stealing jewelry from her home. She wrote on her online review, "Bottom line do not put yourself through this nightmare of a contractor," the Washington Post reported. Dietz has said Perez's reviews cost him about $300,000 in business, and he is seeking a preliminary injunction to keep Perez from writing more.

Dietz has denied all Perez's accusations. He told that Perez refused to pay him $9,340 for services rendered. Dietz said he has shared documents with Yelp and Angie's List that prove Perez lied.

Dietz is fighting an upward battle. "Most of the suits fail because juries and the courts have sided with free speech and the rights of the reviewers to express their opinions," the Washington Post wrote.

View Dietz's court complaint here. View Perez's response here.

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