Energy Automation Systems v. Xcentric Ventures

NOTE: The information and commentary contained in this database entry are based on court filings and other informational sources that may contain unproven allegations made by the parties. The truthfulness and accuracy of such information is likely to be in dispute. Information contained in this entry is current as of the last event mentioned in the "Description" section below; additional proceedings might have taken place in this matter since this event.

Summary

Threat Type: 

Lawsuit

Date: 

11/06/2006

Status: 

Concluded

Location: 

Tennessee

Disposition: 

Settled (total)

Verdict or Settlement Amount: 

N/A
Xcentric Ventures, LLC, operates the Bad Business Bureau, which provides a forum in which consumers may accuse companies and individuals of various "rip-off" and "bad business" practices. This forum is located on a website that may be accessed through either of two... read full description
Parties

Party Issuing Legal Threat: 

Energy Automation Systems, Inc.

Party Receiving Legal Threat: 

Xcentric Ventures, LLC, d/b/a Badbusiness Bureau, d/b/a Badbusinessbureau.com, d/b/a Rip-Off Report, d/b/a Ripoffreport.com; Edward Magedson

Type of Party: 

Organization

Type of Party: 

Individual
Organization
Intermediary

Location of Party: 

  • Tennessee

Location of Party: 

  • Arizona

Legal Counsel: 

James Freeman, Maira Speth, Talmage Watts, William Shreffler
Description

Xcentric Ventures, LLC, operates the Bad Business Bureau, which provides a forum in which consumers may accuse companies and individuals of various "rip-off" and "bad business" practices. This forum is located on a website that may be accessed through either of two domain names: ripoffreport.com or badbusinessbureau.com. The site solicits and receives complaints from all over the country and recommends tactics for writing “rip-off reports,” providing sample questions to ask companies, and advice for locating similarly situated consumers on the Internet.

On November 6, 2006, Energy Automated Systems filed a lawsuit against Xcentric and a site administrator, Edward Magedson, alleging defamation, interference with business relations, civil conspiracy, and violations of the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act. More specifically, EAS alleges in its complaint that it was listed on the website’s “Top Rip-Off Links” and has been the subject of various “rip-off reports.” Those reports have included titles, headings and editorial messages that, the plaintiff alleges, were created by the defendants, stating that EAS’s dealerships are a “complete” and “long running” “scam,” that EAS is a “damn scam ripoff business from hell,” that EAS’s Chief Executive Officer and other employees are “crooked” and “crooks,” that “EASI likes to threaten anyone that complains whether dealer or ex-employee” and that EAS has engaged in “fraud.”

On March 26, 2007, Xcentric filed a motion to dismiss for lack for personal jurisdiction under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(2). Xcentric also raised the defense that section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, 47 U.S.C. sec. 230(c)(1), should mandate dismissal of the claims.

On May 25, 2007, the court held that Xcentric could not raise CDA 230 on a motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction. The court refused to convert the motion into a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss. However, the court stated that CDA 230 could still be used as a defense in a later summary judgment determination.

After the parties proceeded to discovery, the case appears to have settled. On December 12, 2007, the parties filed an Agreed Order of Dismissal.

Details

Content Type: 

  • Text

Publication Medium: 

Forum

Subject Area: 

  • Defamation
  • Third-Party Content
  • Trademark
  • Section 230
  • Personal Jurisdiction
  • Business Torts
  • Consumer Ratings and Reviews
Court Information & Documents

Jurisdiction: 

  • Tennessee

Source of Law: 

  • United States
  • Tennessee

Court Name: 

United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee

Court Type: 

Federal

Case Number: 

3:06CV01079

Relevant Documents: