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What do you do when someone threatens to sue over a thread on discussion board?

Discussion in 'Legal Issues' started by stephfoster, Jan 19, 2005.

  1. #1
    Here's the thread in question: http://www.homewiththekids.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=1792

    Basically, they're telling me the comments are false and defamatory and that I am causing them damage by leaving the thread up. Said medical transcription school is quite controversial, and has been so on many other sites for months. Most of the accusations I have read elsewhere in milder language.

    I've asked her to simply refute them, which she shows no interest in doing.
    SEMrush
    Not quite sure how much liability there is in this for me, or how much inconvenience I am willing to take on in this matter, but it goes against the grain to back down easily. I think if I do delete, I'll start a section on my board for medical transcriptionists, and ban all posts and signature links relating to their company, as well as block them on AdSense. I'm plenty qualified to have such a section on my board, I've been a medical transcriptionist for three years now.
     
    stephfoster, Jan 19, 2005 IP
    SEMrush
  2. ImVickieB

    ImVickieB Berserker

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    #2
    Hmmm, I am no expert on this, but I would think that they would have to take you to court and prove that said statements are false. Do you have anything in your site disclaimer that protects you in cases like this? If not, I would suggest that you add it :D
     
    ImVickieB, Jan 19, 2005 IP
  3. digitalpoint

    digitalpoint Overlord of no one Staff

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    #3
    If the statements are true, then you are fine.
     
    digitalpoint, Jan 19, 2005 IP
  4. stephfoster

    stephfoster Well-Known Member

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    #4
    Had my sister check with a free legal advice site, and basically, they said about a 50-50 chance they can at least make my life miserable for a while. So, I think I'll take it down and add the new board. If they don't want their school discussed, then it won't be allowed.
     
    stephfoster, Jan 19, 2005 IP
  5. joeychgo

    joeychgo Notable Member

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    #5
    I wouldnt worry about it too much.
     
    joeychgo, Jan 19, 2005 IP
  6. mopacfan

    mopacfan Peon

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    #6
    Sounds like they won and you lost. That's too bad. It's sad when the threat of frivolous law suits harms free speach in this way.
     
    mopacfan, Jan 19, 2005 IP
  7. briandunning

    briandunning Active Member

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    #7
    Someone can always sue you regardless of the merits. And it will cost you significant money and a major headache if they do. If you win, you'll probably be able to get a judgement ordering them to pay your costs. But (a) you will have had to spend the money in the first place - if you ignore it you'll lose by default; (b) winning the lawsuit is going to require a significant investment of time & money from you; (c) there's no guarantee that you'll ever be paid what the judgement says you should.

    Unless this content is mission critical to your business, take it down, who cares. There are too many litigious people in this world, and life's too short to waste time fighting with them.
     
    briandunning, Jan 19, 2005 IP
    JoyGoRound likes this.
  8. nevetS

    nevetS Evolving Dragon

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    #8
    I've actually been threatened with a two lawsuits in the last year and a half by big (ger than me) companies. In both cases, the basis for the threat was laughable, and in both cases it scared me a great deal. One slip-up (missed filing deadline, etc.) and I could end up owing some company a lot of money. In neither case could I bring myself to back down though. There are certain principles that you just have to fight for. Once they realized I wasn't backing down both companies backed off.
     
    nevetS, Jan 19, 2005 IP
    mopacfan likes this.
  9. mopacfan

    mopacfan Peon

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    #9
    nevetS, good for you! Standing up for yourself is hard to do and I sincerely applaud your will and tenacity!
     
    mopacfan, Jan 19, 2005 IP
  10. stephfoster

    stephfoster Well-Known Member

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    #10
    Yes, I know, and with different timing I might have behaved differently. But at seven months pregnant, having just moved into a new apartment, there's only so much I'm willing to risk. I've had too much stress lately as is.

    Somebody is certainly keeping a sharp eye on this company, though. I got an email a few minutes ago from a person saying she has proof of the claims made, and that they've threatened her with lawsuits many times, never to follow through. Doesn't surprise me, as they struck me as just trying to bully me rather than intending anything serious, but as I said, I'm not at a good point to take that chance.

    Maybe I should start linking to the negatives in my blog...
     
    stephfoster, Jan 19, 2005 IP
  11. earlpearl

    earlpearl Well-Known Member

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    #11
    Many trade schools are full of BS. I know. I run one. We have always tried to follow the rules/law and not to BS about jobs, jobs, jobs...which is typically the biggest complaint. Schools, either brick or mortar or on the web oversell the fact that they can get you a job. Students usually complain because they don't do squat to help with landing jobs.

    If they are certified in your state complain to the state board. That gets them where it hurts.
    If they are on the web find out where they are certified before doing anything. Often they have no certitification. Don't touch them. You have no recourse if they don't deliver.

    Periodically there are major problems about trade schools of all types. 60 Minutes ran an expose about a national chain a couple of weeks ago.

    Dave
     
    earlpearl, Mar 1, 2005 IP
  12. paymentapprovaltooslow

    paymentapprovaltooslow Banned

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    #12
    Well, sdame with degrees..way over rated
     
    paymentapprovaltooslow, Mar 1, 2005 IP
  13. wendydettmer

    wendydettmer Peon

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    #13

    I'll remember that when i'm checking out doctors or lawyers, eh, who cares if they have a degree
     
    wendydettmer, Mar 1, 2005 IP
  14. younghistorians

    younghistorians Well-Known Member

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    #14
    Weren't your comments considered opinion? If so, how do you explain sites like www.paypalsucks.com ? It's all opinion...free speech anyone?
     
    younghistorians, Mar 1, 2005 IP
  15. Fishing Forum

    Fishing Forum Active Member

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    #15
    Interesting

    I have a disclaimer with a link on every page

    .

    Not sure it covers me but hay I live in the UK
     
    Fishing Forum, Mar 1, 2005 IP
  16. carowan

    carowan Peon

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    #16
    Maybe you can do both:

    If your going to lose sleep over it, take down the thread. It sounds like you have much more important things on your mind.

    As a replacement, post general information on how to research the credentials of trade schools as per earlpearl's post so the next person down the line isn't taken in by their BS.

    Or you can post exactly why the forum were taken down:

    "At the request of Shady Trade School, the following forum was deleted, due to the uncharitable posts of Shady Trade School."

    I dunno, but I hate to see someone bullied.

    Good Luck
     
    carowan, Mar 14, 2005 IP
  17. crumblepie

    crumblepie Well-Known Member

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    #17
    Personally, I'd apologize even if I was not in the wrong and basically avoid getting sued.
     
    crumblepie, Apr 7, 2008 IP
  18. Dondon2d

    Dondon2d Peon

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    #18
    Wow, you just dug a 3-year old thread! :D
     
    Dondon2d, Apr 7, 2008 IP
  19. snowbird

    snowbird Notable Member

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    #19
    Honest mistakes - I've made them as well... :eek:
     
    snowbird, Apr 7, 2008 IP
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  20. Dondon2d

    Dondon2d Peon

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    #20
    We all make those kinds of mistakes. I'm just wondering why he/she saw this thread when it was already buried. Search results, maybe? :D
     
    Dondon2d, Apr 7, 2008 IP