|A Texas couple that left a negative Yelp review are being sued for upwards of $ 1 million due to the allegation they violated a “non-disparagement” clause in the petsitter’s contract. Prestigious Pets Dallas claims violations of the non-disparagement clause, but also adds allegations of defamation and business disparagement. |
The plaintiffs claim that the customers’ statements has resulted in “numerous rape and death threats ... in addition to other forms of harassment such as identity theft, impersonations, crank calls, etc.” David and Kalle McWhorter are the owners of Prestigious Pets.
The Duchouquettes used Yelp to find Prestigious Pets in Dallas
|The couple is currently being aided by Paul Levy, an attorney with Public Citizen. We remember Levy from the Kleargear.com fiasco of William Franklin Bermender, who tried to charge a couple $3,500 and damage their credit after they failed to receive a $ 20 order of krap. Bermender failed to show up in court and has also failed to pay a $ 306,500 civil judgement. The Prestigous Pets non-disparagement clause seems to be lifted word-for-word from Kleargear material.|
William Franklin Bermender
“The non-disparagement clause says that you shouldn’t do anything to damage the reputation of the company,” Levy recently told CBS Dallas/Fort Worth, which was first to report this story. “You’d think that what really damaged the reputation of the company was bringing the suit in the first place.”
Non-disparagement — or “gag” — clauses generally penalize customers for making negative comments about a transaction (even when the comments are true and accurate). California outlawed such clauses in consumer contracts two years ago, and the U.S. Senate has passed a bill that would do so on a nationwide basis. An identical measure, with bipartisan support, was recently introduced in the House of Representatives.