EBay Buyer Hammered With $15,000 Defamation Lawsuit | Online Defamation Law Suits

Posted by admin | April 29th, 2010

An EBay buyer in the US has been hit with a court summons for a $15,000 online defamation lawsuit after leaving negative feedback for a seller.


Michael Steadman from Florida bought a clock from seller Elliot Miller in 2008. Although the clock was sold “as-is” it arrived in three separate packages which Steadman believed did not make a single complete item.


After getting his money back from the transaction, Mr Steadman left a negative feedback comment alleging Miller to have the “ethics of a used car salesman” and to be a “bad seller”.

Unknown to Steadman, seller Mr Miller was not only an EBay member since 2003 but also a lawyer. Upset by what he believed to be unfair comments, My Miller sued for damage to his 100% positive feedback and claiming damages for disparaging his online commercial reputation.


With the case currently in the hands of Miami Dade County Court, Mr Steadman has gathered support from many EBay buyers stating that the laws don’t work for them. He also claimed that “It’s not safe to say anything online”.


Regardless of the results of the court case, this incident has shown how serious online reviews are taken. In the case of EBay sellers they, like businesses of any size, can suffer greatly from negative press of virtually any type. EBay reviews are no different.


If you sell any products through EBay or other online marketplaces then you need to be as careful of reviews there as you do on sites like Facebook, Twitter, review sites, and even personal blogs.


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