The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals has backed gripe site ConsumerAffairs.com in a defamation lawsuit filed by a car dealers. The appellate Court ruled that the federal Communications Decency Act gives the site immunity from liability for libel based on posts by users. The ruling upholds a decision issued last year by U.S. District Court Judge Gerald Bruce Lee in Alexandria, Va.
The car dealer, Thomas Nemet of Nemet Chevrolet in Jamaica, N.Y., complained about 20 allegedly libelous posts that appeared on ConsumerAffairs.com. The comments listed in the lawsuit included criticisms about prices and fees.
For instance, one commenter allegedly wrote that she was told she had to purchase a $2,500 extended warranty and an $1,195 alarm system. "I am stuck with a car loan for $28,500 for a car that is worth about 23,500," she wrote, according to the lawsuit.
Nemet alleged in court documents that these remarks were "false, malicious and libelous" and that the commenter merely "suffers from buyer's remorse.'"
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