What can be do if the former owners of the restaurant that we purchased is publicly badmouthing us online?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What can be do if the former owners of the restaurant that we purchased is publicly badmouthing us online?

They had the place for 9 years prior to us purchasing it. They are still friends through Facebook with many of the locals. One of the locals posted a rant on their Facebook about our business and the former owners decided to chime in with some negative comments. This was all done publicly and anyone can see it. Do we have any rights to sue the former owners for what they are saying about our business? We have an agreement to pay a loan through the bank that paid them for the business and here they are bad mouthing us and helping our business loose customers.

Asked on July 22, 2015 under Business Law, Maine

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If the comments that they are making are not true, then you may have a potential claim for defamation... especially since it's impacting your business.  If your contract had any provisions about interfering with your business operations, you may have some additional contractual remedies. 

Before you file either suit, have an attorney send them a demand letter requesting that they cease with the negative comments....sometimes this is all that is required.

Aside from the legal aspect, you may need to hire a small public relations firm to help you overcome some of the negative aspects of the rants on Facebook.  The fee that you pay them would be part of the damages you would seek if you had to follow-up with an actual suit for defamation.


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 AttorneyPages.com 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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption