A British Columbia lawyer has been awarded $1 in damages after suing a former client for posting a negative review online.
Vancouver lawyer Kyla Lee and her firm Acumen Law allege in court documents that a Google Plus review calling her the “worstest lawyer” led to a decline in client calls.
The reviewer did not respond to the civil claim or appear in court, which meant the plaintiffs would be awarded damages by default.
Justice Catherine Murray says in her decision that businesses with Google Plus profiles and the like are inviting comments from customers and that “surely” no one can expect to receive all favourable reports.
Murray says she’s not satisfied that a reasonably thoughtful, well-informed person would accept the post as being accurate, since it was clearly written by a disgruntled client, was posted in the heat of the moment and was written in poor English.
Although Lee and Acumen filed for $15,000 in damages for lost opportunity, Murray awarded them only $1 in damages to “demonstrate disapproval of the plaintiffs’ actions.”
The Canadian Press