Can I get sued by a company for filing a BBB complaint against them?

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Can I get sued by a company for filing a BBB complaint against them?

I had canceled a pick-up with a moving company for various reasons (long story). They said they would refund my deposit but this wasn’t happening so after 2 months, I acquired the services of the BBB to assist in getting my refund. Once I did this, I got the refund. However, now they keep threatening to file a lawsuit against me for slander, stating that my BBB complaint is a complete lie (which it’s not). They have been very aggressive and hostile with me. I never thought acquiring BBB assistance would result in a lawsuit, and such hostility.

Asked on January 8, 2012 under Personal Injury, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The issue is whether you defamed them: defamation is the making to a third party (which can include the BBB, since the BBB is not a government agency, but rather  is a private orginization; hence there is no privilege for reports made to them) of an untrue factual statement which damages another's reputation. Therefore, if your statement or complaint to the BBB were based on an untrue factual allegation, that could be defamation. You say it was not; if the company does not believe that, they may try to sue you, in which case you will have the chance, in defending yourself, to prove that your statement had a factual basis.


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