Press Release

Defamation Lawsuit Against Better Business Bureau Dismissed Under NY’s Anti-SLAPP Law

March 7, 2023

A judge has dismissed an online clothing retailer’s defamation lawsuit against the Better Business Bureau of Greater Maryland (BBB-GM) under New York’s law prohibiting Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPP).

Attorneys from Ballard Spahr’s Media and Entertainment Law Group represent BBB-GM in defending the lawsuit. In it, Amuze claimed defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

The company claimed that the BBB-GM defamed it by publishing negative online consumer reviews of the business and its practices. Judge Dakota D. Ramseur of New York state court, New York County, granted the motion to dismiss on March 3, ruling that consumer reporting was clearly a subject of public concern covered by the anti-SLAPP statute. The judge further ruled that Amuze was unlikely to succeed on the merits of the complaint under New York law, both because Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act protects entities such as the BBB that provide a platform where consumers can post reviews and because the consumer statements in question are nonactionable opinions.

The BBB is represented by Jay Ward Brown and Alia L. Smith of Ballard Spahr’s Media and Entertainment Law Group.

For media inquiries, please contact Bill Shralow at 215.864.8195.

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