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The Yelp Lawsuit: Yelp May Need Help

By Minara El-Rahman on February 25, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

The Yelp review site just got more notorious this week. The widely used website that allows users to write reviews in order to help people find great local businesses is under fire again. The New York Times reports that Yelp is involved in a class action lawsuit filed by two law firms on behalf of a veterinary hospital in Long Beach, California. The Yelp lawsuit details issues that have been plaguing the company recently.

The lawsuit was filed last Tuesday in federal court in Los Angeles. Some of the claims against Yelp include: unfair business practices, running an "extortion scheme," and having Yelp employees call businesses in order to have them pay Yelp monthly in order to remove or adjust negative reviews about their business.

We wrote about business owners who complained about Yelp's supposed questionable business practices previously. In this lawsuit, filed in federal court this week, the veterinary hospital claims that when requested Yelp to remove a "false and defamatory review" that Yelp refused to do so. Not only did it refuse to remove the review, the lawsuit also claims that Yelp asked for "roughly $300 per month" in order to hide or remove the review.  

According to Tech Crunch, the Yelp lawsuit was filed as Cats and Dogs Animal Hospital Inc. v. Yelp Inc. The New York Times reports that while Yelp has not commented on the actual lawsuit, Vince Sollitto, Yelp's vice president of communications said this in a written statement: "The allegations are demonstrably false, since many businesses that advertise on Yelp have both negative and positive reviews. These businesses realize that both kinds of feedback provide authenticity and value. Running a good business is hard; filing a lawsuit is easy. While we haven't seen the suit in question, we will dispute it aggressively."

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