Can aconstruction company sue me because I filed a complaint with the BBB for dishonest practices?

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Can aconstruction company sue me because I filed a complaint with the BBB for dishonest practices?

In short, we called an ad for a free estimate. Next, they contacted our insurance company to negotiate the costs, which we approved of. Lastly, without our knowledge they deposited a check for the repairs with both parties names on it without discussing their plans for repairs with us. I filed a complaint with the BBB, and today the owner called my wife and said that if I don’t cancel the complaint that he is going to sue us and not return the check to the insurance company. Meanwhile, my home still has water and mold damage from a water heater that ruptured 3 months ago. Can he sue us?

Asked on August 17, 2010 under General Practice, Indiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Legitimate grounds for suing you for contacting the Better Business Bureau would be if they believe you committed defamation: i.e. that the statement you made to Better Business was a false negative statement of fact. However, from what you right, it would seem that if your statement was provably true, that they would not prevail in court--though note that often, even if someone would ultimately lose, that does not prevent them from at least initiating a lawsuit.

Regardless of whether  or not the construction agency can sue you, they cannot take your money. You would seem to have a cause of action against them; and possibly, depending on the exact circumstances, grounds for reporting them to the policy for theft as well.


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