April 2014

Ripoff Report Has a Fight on Its Hands In Massachusetts

April 7, 2014

Can a state court order assignment of a defamatory posting on Ripoff Report to a prevailing plaintiff? That may be the central question in Small Justice LLC, et al. v. Xcentric Ventures LLC, pending the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. Here are the basic facts. A Boston attorney* was defamed by a litigation adversary on the Ripoff Report (a website owned by Xcentric Ventures). The former adversary party, Richard Dupont, claimed that the lawyer was a perjurer with “a history of persecuting the elderly, especially, wealthy elderly women.” The lawyer was accused of filing “baseless lawsuits in order to seize assets from clients, from adversaries and even from his own family.” The posting urged readers to contact the FBI and the Securities and Exchange Commission with similar complaints, and claimed that the attorney had “a history of child abuse, domestic violence and bi-sexuality,” as well as an “addiction to illicit substances.” None of this is true. *[note] The lawyer is not named in this post, to minimize further negative publicity. The lawyer brought suit against Dupont in Massachusetts state court, where he obtained a default judgment. However, this did him no good as far as the defamatory post was concerned. Ripoff Report is infamous for refusing to remove third-party postings, and the Communications Decency Act  (“CDA”) (47 USC § 230) renders it almost impervious to suit by victims of third-party defamation,…

Read the full article →