SLAPP suits came to national attention when Justin Kurtz was sued for allegedly defaming a Kalamazoo towing company (T&J) on a Facebook page. Both parties have now agreed to dismiss their claims against one another. I think this outcome illustrates perfectly how wasteful SLAPP lawsuits are. Business owners who are overly sensitive to criticism should toughen up and either improve their service or ignore online complaints unless the commentary reaches a level that is truly defamatory. Nonetheless, thin-skinned business owners appear more than willing to file SLAPP suits that generally end in stalemate. This underscores that the suits are likely filed only to intimidate and harass those expressing protected opinion speech. The irony is that by filing the lawsuits, businesses tend to draw even more unwanted attention to themselves, creating more suspicion than if they had simply ignored the online griping. The result here is hopefully the beginning of a trend.
Category Archives: Defamation