A Massachusetts jewelry store employee must pay $34,500 to a competing jeweler after he posted a negative review of the store on Yelp that a jury decided was fake.
In late March, a jury found Adam Jacobs, who works for Quincy-based Toodie's Fine Jewelry, must pay the sum to Stephen Blumberg, the owner of Stephen Leigh Jewelers, reports The Patriot Ledger.
The Ledger said the post was several paragraphs long and referenced a negative visit to the store, in which the poster sought a 1.5-carat diamond engagement ring. He instructed fellow Yelpers to "go elsewhere." The visit, the lawsuit stated, never occurred.
“He told the people we were thieves, that we were cold-blooded thieves," Blumberg told CBS Boston. "I’ve never been convicted of anything in my life."
The jewelry stores are located less than a half-mile from each other.
CBS Boston reports Blumberg did some of his own investigating and discovered the post was made by Jacobs. He filed a lawsuit against Jacobs and Toodie's in December 2013, the Ledger said, claiming the post smeared the business' reputation.
CBS reported the jury decided Jacobs' post caused "emotional distress." The store was not found at fault.
Jacobs' attorney Allan Levin told the Ledger there's a possibility of an appeal.
“We are disappointed and disagree with the decision involving Adam," he told CBS Boston. "Regardless of the verdict, however, we believe that the damages awarded were not based on any facts, but were entirely speculative."