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

UPDATED: Jan 8, 2012

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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