It’s the one-star review that could end up costing one woman as much as $750,000.
This morning, jurors are hearing testimony from Christopher Dietz, a Washington, D.C.-based contractor suing his former client over negative reviews she posted online.
Dietz says the situation has been difficult for him. “This has drained me, my business and my family – emotionally and financially,” he said.
It all began nearly three years ago, when Dietz was hired by his former classmate, Jane Perez, to do some work on her home.
Perez wasn’t happy with the finished product, so she went online and wrote a scathing review on the website Yelp.com, claiming her “home was damaged” and there was “work that had to be redone.”
She also accused Dietz and his firm of theft, stating, “jewelry was found missing from my home and this contractor has the only extra key.”
Dietz filed a lawsuit against Perez, denying all of her accusations in her review and saying her posting contained many falsehoods. He alleges the bad review caused “loss of work opportunities in an amount of at least $300,000” in his complaint.
But Perez stands by her word and has filed a countersuit against Dietz claiming that he made false statements about her on Yelp.
As the two fight it out in court, Dietz’s attorney, Sara Kropf, says the damage to his reputation and business has already been done.
“Anyone who looks at him online is going to see these reviews first,” Kropf said.