If I made a complaint on BBB about a real estate company and now one of the people in the complaint is threatening to sue me, can they do that?

Asked on April 1, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

If you committed defamation, they could sue you. Defamation is making an untrue factual assertion about another person to third parties (including the BBB) which damages their reputation. The key is, it must be a factual assertion that is false, not an opinion. Examples:
1) You complained that the person(s) were "rude," or "unprofessional," or "lazy"--those are all opinions and so are not defamation. They might still try to file a suit, but you should be able to defeat any suit quickly, because those statements do not equal defamation.
2) You complained that the person(s) failed to market a home when they can show that they listed it on the appropriate websites and put out a "for sale" sign, or you complained they did not bring qualified buyers, when they can show that they did bring people who at least on paper had the resources to buy--in that case, your allegation is factually false and is defamation.


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