Levitt 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: 

03/12/2010

Status: 

Pending

Location: 

California

Verdict or Settlement Amount: 

N/A
Boris Levitt, owner of Renaissance Furniture Restoration in San Francisco, brought a class action lawsuit against Yelp! Inc. in California state court, alleging violations of California unfair competition law and negligent and intentional misrepresentation. The lawsuit came weeks after other small business... read full description
Parties

Party Receiving Legal Threat: 

Yelp! Inc.; Does 1-100

Type of Party: 

Individual

Type of Party: 

Organization

Location of Party: 

  • California

Location of Party: 

  • California
  • Delaware

Legal Counsel: 

Michael G Rhodes - Cooley Godward Kronish LLP
Description

Boris Levitt, owner of Renaissance Furniture Restoration in San Francisco, brought a class action lawsuit against Yelp! Inc. in California state court, alleging violations of California unfair competition law and negligent and intentional misrepresentation. The lawsuit came weeks after other small business owners filed similar lawsuits against Yelp in federal court in California. 

Like the other class action complaints, Levitt's complaint alleges that Yelp runs 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. Specifically, Levitt claims that a number of positive reviews about his business disappeared days after he declined a request to purchase advertising on Yelp. The complaint also alleges that Yelp misrepresents that its reviews are unbiased, causing injury to Levitt's business.

On March 30, 2010, Yelp removed the case to federal court, where it presumably will be consolidated with the other class action lawsuits.

Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppleman has repeatedly denied moving reviews around to reward advertisers and punish non-advertisers.

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: 

Superior Court of the State of California, County of San Francisco

Court Type: 

State

Case Number: 

CGC-10-497777

Relevant Documents: