Couple Sued for $112K After Giving Roofing Company 1-Star Reviews

Autumn Knepper and Adam Marsh, a couple from Vancouver, Washington, say they are being sued for $ 112,000 over two one-star ratings they left on a local roofing company.

The saga began when the couple’s roof leaked a few months ago. KGW said their landlord had Executive Roof Services (ERS) carried out an inspection, and the visiting employee concluded that there were some areas to be repaired.

“I asked him for a schedule when this could be finished. He told me to call the office the next day, “Knepper told the NBC subsidiary.

She said she called and got a receptionist who was rude throughout the conversation. “She refused to give me any information. She said I had to get it from the landlord. I asked to speak to the manager and she laughed at me. She told me that I was verbally abusing her and that she was the office manager. She hung up, ”added Knepper.

Marsh said he had a similar experience with the same person. “She was just super rude, told me she was an office manager and there was no one else to talk to, and then hung up,” Marsh said.

Knepper and Marsh both gave one-star ratings on Google. Marsh also filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau, but it never came up because the two weren’t technically ERS customers since the landlord was the one who hired the company.

ERS currently has an A + rating with BBB.

Knepper claimed the company’s owner contacted her and said, “He had” [a] Forensic guy and that he’d love to spend a hundred thousand dollars to sue [them]. “

She said the owner texted her saying the rating must be removed before “further damage is done”. Knepper then called a police officer who allegedly told the owner to stop contact with the couple.

The couple then received letters from a law firm requesting that their reviews be removed. The couple didn’t, and they say they are now being sued for defamation and willfully disrupting business expectations.

The number that ERS was looking for came in at $ 112,000 and $ 28,000 per week.

“To be honest, I cried straight away. I was shocked. [I] can’t afford a lawyer. I can’t afford to pay $ 112,000. And I can, don’t want to file for bankruptcy, ”said Knepper.

A lawyer representing the company said the lawsuit was not only down to the poor reviews, but rather (according to his argument) tried to use the reviews to purchase something they were not entitled to. The attorney claimed this was because they had not been entitled to the information requested (a timeline and a report of the roof repair) since their landlord hired ERS.

Another attorney, this one from the Washington, DC-based Public Citizen Litigation Group, told KGW that he saw this as an example of a SLAPP lawsuit, a “strategic lawsuit against public participation” aimed at detracting from critics silencing them by forcing them not to spend money to have a lawsuit.

“I think the company has a lot to lose if litigated by trying to portray it as a libel case. The problem is, the company has the money and the couple doesn’t, ”said attorney Paul Levy, who believes the couple could win in court.

The attorney for the roofing firm dismissed the SLAPP lawsuit. “This is not a SLAPP lawsuit, a SLAPP is a motion. This is a lawsuit. The lawsuit makes claims for defamation and deliberate impairment of business expectations, ”it said.

The couple created a GoFundMe that currently has raised $ 8,855 of its $ 100,000 goal.

“I just don’t want my future to be completely destroyed by something so small. This is obviously a man who is fine and can afford it and I cannot afford to fight it. And I think he knows that, ”said Knepper.

The roof was eventually repaired by another company.

Comments are closed.