Hotel Demands Damages, Alleging|Defamation In A Web Site Review

     WOBURN, MASS. (CN) – Hotel owners have sued TripAdvisor for defamation, claiming it allowed disgruntled hotel guests to post a nasty review on the TripAdvisor Web site, accusing the owner’s son of sleeping with a guest of a wedding party and gossiping about it with the bride’s family.

     The Ocean View Inn and its father and son owners and managers do not accuse TripAdvisor of writing the “scurrilous and defamatory” review, only of allowing it to be posted. Such reviews are one of the services TripAdvisors offers through its Web site. Excerpts from the June 21 review are posted on this complaint, in Middlesex County Court.
     The allegedly defamatory review appears to have been written by the bride. In it, she claims the defendants “charged my guests for drinks even though we paid for an open bar. I was alerted to this fact as I was waiting to walk down the aisle.” After mentioning other complaints, the posting ends, “Lastly, the owner’s son slept with one of my guests and gossiped with her about my family. Don’t go there!”
     The wedding party was in June 2003. The complaint was posted on June 21 this year.
     Plaintiffs Laurence and Peter Bershad demand damages and an injunction ordering that the bit about sleeping with a guest be deleted from the Web site.
     The Bershads are represented by David McBride of Danvers, Mass.

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