James is a Partner and Head of the Dispute Resolution team and primarily handles commercial…View Profile View all
James Staton has recently acted for a local restaurant and wedding reception venue in connection with postings placed on both Trip Advisor and Facebook by disgruntled customers. The customers had booked the venue for a wedding reception in August 2017. The booking terms and conditions provided for a non-refundable deposit. Some months after booking the reception the customers cancelled the booking and then objected to the restaurant retaining the non-refundable deposit notwithstanding the restaurant’s clear terms and conditions of business.
The customers posted a review on Trip Advisor which was repeated on Facebook. In the posting they described the restaurant’s actions as “disgusting and appalling” and went on to allege that the deposit had been “stolen” from them.
Schofield Sweeney were instructed to respond to the postings on Trip Advisor and Facebook and did so pointing out to the customers that they had agreed to the restaurant’s terms and conditions and that an overpayment of the deposit had been refunded to them. Schofield Sweeney asserted that the postings on Trip Advisor and Facebook were libellous because of the nature of the allegation and particularly that of theft, and also that the postings constituted an actionable malicious falsehood.
The cancelling customers withdrew both the Trip Advisor review and the Facebook posting after they had received Schofield Sweeney’s letter.
If you have any issues regarding malicious or defamatory postings on social media, speak to James Staton.