Pissed Consumer Slaps Back At Company That Filed A SLAPP Suit
from the good-for-them dept
Opinion Corporation runs the site PissedConsumer.com — which, if you’re not already familiar with it, does pretty much what you’d expect: allows angry consumers to call out companies that have done them wrong. One of those companies, apparently, is Nevada Corporate Headquarters which has some negative reviews on PissedConsumer. There appear to be similar negative reviews on other sites, including Ripoff Report and Scambook.
Last spring, Nevada Corporate Headquarters did the exact, wrong thing in response to the reviews on Ripoff Report: filed a lawsuit against the company. It lost. The court found, rightly, that Ripoff Report was protected by Section 230 of the CDA, and dismissed the initial lawsuit with prejudice. You would think that Nevada Corporate Headquarters and its lawyers might take the time to understand Section 230 and the nature of the internet. They, apparently, did not. Instead, a few months later, they filed a nearly identical lawsuit, in small claims court, against Opinion Corporation. Back in January, the court similarly dismissed that lawsuit, again pointing to Section 230 of the CDA which grants immunity to service providers from the content their users post. Opinion Corporation sought legal fees in response to this, but was denied, since legal fees are not recoverable in small claims court.
Now, in an interesting move, Opinion Corporation, represented by Marc Randazza, haves filed an anti-SLAPP lawsuit in a Nevada state court, under Nevada’s Anti-SLAPP law, which does give attorney’s fees to those who have been slapped down by bogus lawsuits trying to silence public discussion. It’s an interesting legal move, as Opinion Corp. is basically arguing that since it was clearly SLAPP’d, even though via a small claims court, in can now file for attorneys’ fees in state court under the state’s anti-SLAPP law. The company argues, somewhat convincingly, that without this, Nevada Corporate Headquarters would be free to continue SLAPPing other sites in small claims court, knowing that there’s no real downside to doing so. Furthermore, the fact that NVCHQ had already lost its case against Ripoff Report demonstrates that it clearly knew the SLAPP suit was nothing but a SLAPP in the first place, making the action even more egregious.
Defendant deliberately brought an action against Plaintiff it knew to be groundless and in violation of N.R.S. 41.660, as evidenced by the dismissal of its earlier identical action against Ripoff Report.
Even if the Defendant had not received virtually identical orders in the past, any reasonable party would know, or should have known, that Opinion Corp. was immune from liability.
The Defendant implicitly acknowledged that the claims were legally baseless by submitting an opposition to the motion that was devoid of even a singe citation to any authority.