LaPausky v. Yelp! Inc.

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: 

03/03/2010

Status: 

Pending

Location: 

California

Verdict or Settlement Amount: 

N/A
Christine LaPausky, owner of the D'ames Day Spa in San Diego, brought a class action lawsuit against Yelp! Inc. in California federal court, alleging violations of California unfair competition law. The lawsuit came days after another small business owner filed... read full description
Parties

Party Receiving Legal Threat: 

Yelp! Inc.

Type of Party: 

Individual

Type of Party: 

Organization

Location of Party: 

  • California

Location of Party: 

  • California
  • Delaware

Legal Counsel: 

Sarah Ruth Boot, Matthew Dean Brown, Benjamin H Kleine, Michael G Rhodes - Cooley Godward Kronish LLP
Description

Christine LaPausky, owner of the D'ames Day Spa in San Diego, brought a class action lawsuit against Yelp! Inc. in California federal court, alleging violations of California unfair competition law. The lawsuit came days after another small business owner filed a similar class action complaint against Yelp

The complaint is substantially similar to the first class action complaint and alleges an extortion scheme, in which Yelp! supposedly promises to positively manipulate user reviews in exchange for the purchase of advertising, and implicitly threatens to detrimentally manipulate reviews if business owners refuse.  Like the first complaint, this one relies heavily on press accounts detailing complaints from other businesses about the alleged extortionate behavior. 

Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppleman responded with a blog post calling the allegations "false and easily refuted." He added:

These copy cat suits get filed in what is known as a "race to the courthouse," where lawyers jockey to be named the lead lawyer of the case and take the biggest share of legal fees; being among the first to file a suit increases the chance of being put in charge of the case.

So, as I said: it's not a surprise to see another such frivolous suit. In fact, it's kind of expected.

This doesn't change a thing however: this suit, like the other, is without merit, we will fight it aggressively and we believe we will win.

This case presumably will be consolidated with the other class action lawsuit pending in the same district court.

Details

Content Type: 

  • Text

Publication Medium: 

Forum

Subject Area: 

  • Third-Party Content
  • Consumer Ratings and Reviews
Court Information & Documents

Jurisdiction: 

  • California

Source of Law: 

  • California

Court Name: 

United States District Court for the Central District of California

Court Type: 

Federal

Case Number: 

2:10-cv-01578

Relevant Documents: