Lawyers can’t scrub hotel epithet

by Walter Olson on September 11, 2013

“A federal appeals court has tossed a $10 million defamation suit by a resort in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., that was ranked No. 1 on a 2011 ‘dirtiest hotels’ list by TripAdvisor.” The Sixth Circuit “said the list is opinion protected by the First Amendment.” [ABA Journal, Digital Media Law]

{ 4 comments }

1 Robert 09.11.13 at 8:46 am

> “No reader of TripAdvisor’s list would understand Grand Resort to be, objectively, the dirtiest hotel in all the Americas,

Honestly, *I* would. While I take many on-line things with a grain of salt, if there are at least several hundred ratings, the “best” hotel according to Trip Adviser is usually spot on. I’d have no reason to doubt the “worst” either. Many a time I’m visiting a city I’ve never been to before, so I just book myself into the top-rated in that city. It’s never failed me.

2 D 09.11.13 at 7:14 pm

Perhaps the key word is “objectively”. Best and worst are inherently subjective.
FWIW, I agree with Robert’s point of view and generally follow the same procedure, though I also consider cost as a factor.
My rhetorical question is why the plaintiff’s lawyer did not advise his client to take the dismissal and quit shouting about how everyone says his hotel is the dirtiest in America. Will they never learn?

3 kimsch 09.12.13 at 12:11 am

D – Streisand Effect

4 Walter Olson 09.12.13 at 12:22 am

Now tagged to that effect.

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