Judge orders woman to tone down Yelp review as $750,000 defamation suit heads to court

Be careful what you say

A woman facing defamation charges over a Yelp review has been ordered to remove portions of her scathing feedback as the trial gets underway. Per The Washington Post, Jane Perez is being sued by Dietz Development for $750,000 after posting reviews on Yelp and Angie's List that accuse the contractors of both shoddy workmanship and jewelry theft. A police investigation revealed no conclusive evidence that Dietz employees had removed valuables from her home, yet Perez left the damning accounts visible on both sites.

The First Amendment only gets you so far

Dietz says those harsh words have directly caused the company to lose out on new work endeavors. Accordingly, it's asking for significant damages due to the lasting influence Perez's words have had on its reputation with customers. On Wednesday a judge issued a preliminary injunction ordering Perez to remove any aspects of the review that label Dietz's employees as thieves. As of today her review appears to be hidden entirely. In fact, it seems the business page for Dietz Development is undergoing heavy policing at the moment: currently only two reviews can be found, with one slamming the company for taking things to court.


Yelp, Angie's List, and other review sites are generally protected from direct litigation thanks to the Communications Decency Act, but users remain susceptible to claims of defamation and other falsehoods. In Virginia, where the suit was filed, a defendant can be found liable for defamation if he or she states, as if it were fact, a false claim about a person or business that negatively impacts their reputation. Multiple lawsuits have cropped up throughout the country in recent years, including one case where a dentist sued two patients for what she believed were libelous reviews.

The Verge
Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new Verge username and password

As part of the new Verge launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to Verge going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new Verge username and password

As part of the new Verge launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to Verge going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.



Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.