Mother is threatened with JAIL over TRIPADVISOR review
Mother is threatened with JAIL over TRIPADVISOR review
High Rocks in Tunbridge Wells was given a one-star rating by Sarah Gardner
19 May, 2017, 21:44
Sarah Gardner, 44, posted the negative review after dining at a wedding reception venue in Tunbridge Wells, Kent.
A MUM fears she will end up in jail for posting a one-star review of a restaurant on TripAdvisor.
But High Rocks, it seems, weren't happy with the bad publicity and went so far as to instruct London law firm Cohen Davis Solicitors to write to Sarah, informing her that her post was defamatory and therefore against the law.
According to the Daily Mail, the letter said: "Our client will pursue you for aggravated damages to compensate it for the full extent of its financial losses".
The Daily Mail reported that she was also presented with a "mocked-up draft of a court injunction", which indicated that her failure to comply with the order could lead to imprisonment or a fine. The nurse said that she had "found the staff more and more rude each time" she visited and described the food as "mediocre at best". In 2013, Vara said that changes to Britain's notorious libel laws would make it more hard for businesses to silence consumers who criticized a business' service or products. According to the Mirror, the firm claimed that Gardner's negative review had caused High Rocks "financial harm worth tens of thousands of pounds". Britain's Defamation Act 2013 requires that a business shows that a published statement has resulted in significant financial loss.
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The law firm told the Mirror: "It would be highly inappropriate and libellous for your paper to repeat any of Ms Gardner's libellous allegations".
She said: 'The letters are very threatening. "I can not afford a solicitor so I will have to defend myself".
However, she is refusing to back down.
The letter ended: "If you have not done so we urge you to obtain independent professional legal advice". However, she says that she was not referencing an experience on that specific date, but rather her general experience.
As it stands, it seems like High Rocks and their lawyers are still pushing for a libel claim against Sarah, so we chose to ask Steve Kuncewicz, Principal Lawyer at Slater and Gordon, a law firm that specialises in defamation law, whether he thinks the restaurant would actually have a leg to stand on in court.
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OTHERcustomers have slammed High Rocks on TripAdvisor including James Batup, who also claims that he was threatened with legal action.
"Ms Gardner falsely claimed, in three separate TripAdvisor reviews, to have attended our clients' establishment in March 2017 when, on her own admission, she had not", the lawyers said. He added that "she took them down because they were false".
So could we get sued for a review?
The firm added it was preparing a High Court claim against Ms Gardner, which it meant to serve "very shortly".
Because of this, when writing reviews in future, he advises it's best to make sure you phrase it as opinion instead of fact.
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