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Lawyer Gets Bad Review, Sues Google, Not Reviewer
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Summary: A lawyer is suing Google because the company didn’t remove a bad review.

No one likes bad reviews. However, few take the time to sue over them, and fewer sue the review platform instead of the writers themselves. But that’s not the case for one New Jersey attorney named Richard Kitrick. After receiving negative feedback online, he filed a defamation lawsuit against Google for not taking it down.

  
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Kitrick claimed that he had never represented the author of the bad review. He said he contacted Google multiple times to remove the allegedly bogus post, but the tech company failed to comply so he filed a lawsuit in his home state. According to the lawsuit, Google’s Terms of Service say that it reserves the right to review and remove content that violates its policies, and one such policy is to not post “fake reviews.” Kitrick concluded that Google did not follow its own policies and therefore was liable for damages.

“Google profits from the slanderous statements that are negative and create controversy in that they encourage more use of the Google services,” the complaint obtained by Law360 said.

Kitrick wants the negative review to be removed as well as money for damages and legal fees. His complaint lists Google as a defendant as well as 10 Jane or John Does. Kitrick is representing himself.

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While Google has yet to respond to the allegations, First Amendment attorney Jack Greiner said Kitrick doesn’t have much of a case.

“Under the federal Communications Decency Act, an interactive computer service provider is not considered the publisher of third-party content. Here, Google is an interactive computer service provider and the content at issue – the allegedly bogus review – was provided by a third party. Google isn’t liable for it,” Greiner wrote on Cincinnati.com.



Graphic courtesy of Google

Source: Law360

Do you think Kitrick has a case? Let us know in the comments below.



 

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