Jane Perez said she hired Christopher Dietz to perform certain renovations on her home in 2011. Unsatisfied with Dietz’s work, she later wrote a very unfavorable review of his services for Yelp, accusing him of billing her for work he hadn’t actually done, shoddy workmanship in the repairs he did make, and leaving other work incomplete, CBS News noted.
Perez also noted that some of her jewelry had gone missing while Dietz was working in her home and warned readers to avoid hiring Dietz as a contractor.
After replying to the review, Dietz sued Perez in a Fairfax County, Va., court, claiming defamation. He is demanding $750,000 in damages and says the poor review resulted in $300,000 in lost clients.
The judge presiding over the case has ordered Perez to remove comments regarding the possible jewelry theft. The court is now considering if Dietz has grounds for his defamation claim.
Legal experts noted that people are within their legal rights to post their opinions of a business or a contractors performance, but cannot make unsupported allegations — like accusing someone of stealing — without risking legal action.
Perez is fighting the lawsuit, producing photographs of the poorly done work allegedly performed by Dietz.