Earlier this month, a Florida daycare responded to a negative online review left by parents of a child that until recently attended the daycare by serving the parents who left the review with a defamation lawsuit. The parents, Marc LaRocco and Kimberly Moore, left the review after they claim the daycare, The Learning Experience, repeatedly fed their son Owen dairy despite being notified that the child had an allergy to milk.
The parents of the child who attended The Learning Experience daycare in Sunrise, Florida claim that they notified the daycare upon enrolling their son that he was allergic to milk. Despite this, the parents claim that the daycare sent them pictures on numerous occasions of their son eating foods containing dairy. The parents claim that their son suffered rashes and vomiting as a result.
After removing their son from the daycare, the parents took to social media to describe what they claim was their experience at The Learning Experience in Sunrise, Florida. In lengthy online reviews, the couple made statements, according to the complaint, such as: “The Learning Experience- Sunrise is ill-equipped to handle children with any type of special needs.” The complaint also alleges that the couple wrote that: “This school needs a complete overhaul in training and management” and “If you value your child’s life, do not allow them to attend this facility.” The daycare responded to the reviews by filing a lawsuit claiming that the statements were “false and injurious” false and made with “reckless disregard for the truth.” The daycare alleges that the “statements were communicated to at least 500,000 third parties” and “negatively impacted (The Learning Experience’s) trustworthiness and character.” A CBS affiliate in Miami ran a story about the lawsuit and interviewed the parents. That story and the interview can be found below:
The attorneys at Lubin Austermuehle have decades of experience representing individuals and businesses in defamation lawsuits including a strikingly similar case where we successfully defended a client being sued for defamation by a daycare after leaving a negative Yelp review. We successfully argued that the negative claims were non-actionable opinion and thus immune from liability. The judge in the case dismissed the plaintiffs’ entire case with prejudice and refused to permit the plaintiffs to attempt to re-plead their claims. You can read our client’s review of our firm and account of her case and our successful defense here.
Opinion is just one of the many defenses available to a person or business being accused of slander. There is no substitute for years and years of practicing defamation and slander law when it comes to knowing what defamation defenses apply, how and when to assert the appropriate defenses, and what evidence and testimony are needed to successfully put on a defense against defamation or libel claims. Whether you are being accused of harming someone’s reputation or you believe someone else has harmed your reputation by making defamatory statements, it is important to find an experienced slander law and cyber-smear law attorney who is familiar with defamation claims and defenses and recent changes to the law that could affect your rights.
Lubin Austermuehle’s defamation and slander lawyers near Wheaton and Oakbrook have more than three decades of experience helping business clients unravel the complexities of Illinois and out-of-state defamation, libel and slander laws. We assist businesses and owners who are the victims of defamatory and slanderous attacks on their businesses and reputations.
Our DuPage County defamation attorneys defend individuals’ First Amendment and free speech rights to post on Facebook, Yelp and other websites information that criticizes businesses and addresses matters of public concern. You can view a federal court decision where we prevailed in a libel per se claim asserting the innocent infringer defense here. Here you can find an arbitration decision where we successfully defended our client’s right to post negative opinions on YouTube about a used car dealer.
We also prosecute lawsuits against posters who abuse their First Amendment rights and wrongly attack businesses and professionals with false and defamatory negative reviews on Yelp, Google and other review sites. We have represented doctors, dentists and other businesses in such suits. We recently required a defendant who publicized an allegedly false lawsuit concerning our client, one of the largest diamond wholesalers in the world, to provide an apology and full retraction as part of a confidential financial settlement following our filing of a $16,000,000.00 defamation per se suit in federal district court.
We also handle emergency commercial litigation involving preliminary injunctions and temporary restraining orders (TROs), defamation, libel, and covenants not to compete, franchise, distributor and dealer wrongful termination, and trade secrets along with various other types of business disputes involving shareholders, partnerships, closely held businesses and employee or executive breaches of fiduciary duties. Our Naperville business, commercial, class-action, and consumer litigation lawyers represent individuals, family businesses, and enterprises of all sizes in a variety of legal disputes, including disputes among partners and shareholders as well as lawsuits between businesses and consumer rights, auto fraud, and wage claim individual and class action cases. In every case, our goal is to resolve disputes as quickly and successfully as possible, helping business clients protect their investments and get back to business as usual. From offices in Elmhurst and Wilmette, near Park Ridge and Highland Park, we serve clients throughout Illinois and the Midwest. You can contact us online here or call us on our locally at 630-333-0333.