Guadagnini Violin Shop v. TruthTeller1790

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: 

01/23/2012

Status: 

Pending

Location: 

Illinois

Verdict or Settlement Amount: 

N/A
On January 23, 2012, the Guadagnini Violin Shop (the "Shop") and owner Chunyee Lu filed suit in Illinois state court against a then-anonymous online reviewer. The complaint alleged that on January 21, 2011, a person using variations on the screen name "TruthTeller1790"... read full description
Parties

Party Receiving Legal Threat: 

Eric Swanson, a.k.a. TruthTeller1790

Type of Party: 

Individual
Organization

Type of Party: 

Individual

Location of Party: 

  • Illinois

Location of Party: 

  • Illinois
Description

On January 23, 2012, the Guadagnini Violin Shop (the "Shop") and owner Chunyee Lu filed suit in Illinois state court against a then-anonymous online reviewer. The complaint alleged that on January 21, 2011, a person using variations on the screen name "TruthTeller1790" posted negative reviews of the Shop on multiple user-review sites, including Yelp and Kudzu. All of the reviews were posted from the same IP address. Plaintiffs attached copies of the contested reviews to the complaint, and alleged that the reviews contained numerous libelous statements, such as allegations that Guadagnini Violin Shop performed unnecessary repairs and sold overpriced and falsely-identified instruments.

The complaint alleged counts of defamation (per se and per quod), false light, and tortious interference, and sought money damages.

On February 7, 2012, plaintiffs filed an amended complaint, identifying Eric Swanson as "TruthTeller1790." According to the amended complaint, plaintiffs traced the IP address linked to the reviews to cable provider RCN Corporation, which identified Swanson as that address's subscriber. The amended complaint alleged that Swanson operated a competing Chicago violin shop.

In addition to the original four counts of defamation, false light, and tortious interference, the amended complaint added counts of violations of Illinois' Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act, its Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act, and a common-law trade disparagement claim. The amended complaint also added requests for punitive damages.

Details

Content Type: 

  • Text

Publication Medium: 

Website

Subject Area: 

  • Defamation
  • False Light
  • Legal Threat
  • Anonymity
  • Trade Libel
  • Business Torts
  • Consumer Ratings and Reviews
Court Information & Documents

Jurisdiction: 

  • Illinois

Source of Law: 

  • Illinois

Court Name: 

Circuit Court for Cook County, Illinois

Court Type: 

State

Case Number: 

2012-L-000802

Relevant Documents: 

CMLP Information (Private)

CMLP Notes: 

3/23/2012: JS creating