Posting reviews has become second nature for many consumers nowadays – 82 percent of adults say they read online reviews at least some of the time, according to a Pew Research Center Study – so when they have a bad experience with a business, up goes a review, to share it with others.
But for one man in Florida, what he thought was a simple review turned into a year-long battle in court.
“I never thought I’d be sued over anything that I write. There’s no reason to say anything but the truth,” said Tom Lloyd, of DeLand, Florida. But Lloyd said telling the truth got him in trouble.
His ordeal began when his 10-year-old poodle Rembrandt suddenly fell ill last year. Lloyd rushed him to nearby DeLand Animal Hospital, where he says he was told the dog needed immediate surgery for what was probably a ruptured spleen.
“I said, ‘You’re going to do this right now?’ And he said, ‘Yeah,'” Lloyd recalled.
But six hours later, he says, the clinic told him to come pick Rembrandt up: that they’d been unable to find a surgeon. He took the dog to a second clinic but says he was told it was too late – Rembrandt would need to be euthanized.
“It isn’t like there’s a closure,” Lloyd said. “He deserved a chance and they didn’t give him a chance. If he would have died on the operating table, I would have understood.”
Afterwards, he posted a review on Yelp, writing “The staff had wasted six hours of Rembrandt’s life and destroyed whatever chance he may have had to live. Our Rembrandt deserved a better last day.”