Societal

Online medical company sues woman for defamation after she posted a negative review on eBay

  • Amy Nicholls ordered $175 microscope light  from Ohio-based Med Express
  • It arrived with $1.40 postage due, so she  posted negative feedback on site
  • Firm offered a refund and when she refused,  it sued for damaging business
  • Lawyers acting for Ms Nicholls demand firm  withdraws ‘frivolous’ case

By  Harriet Arkell

PUBLISHED: 10:32 EST, 17  April 2013 |  UPDATED: 13:05 EST, 17 April 2013

 

A woman who posted negative feedback on eBay  when her order arrived owing postage is being sued by the seller after she  refused to remove her criticism.

Amy Nicholls, of Greenville, South Carolina,  was disappointed at having to pay for postage and the seller, Ohio-based Med  Express, its first negative feedback.

Now the firm, which is believed to sell  medical supplies entirely though the internet auction site, is claiming her  criticism may damage their business – even though it is true – and is suing Ms  Nicholls for defamation.

eBay feedback: Ms Nicholls' seemingly innocuous comment sparked a lawsuit from Ohio-based firm, Med Express 

eBay feedback: Ms Nicholls’ seemingly innocuous comment  sparked a lawsuit from Ohio-based firm, Med Express

The row began in February when Ms Nicholls  bought a microscope light source for $175, plus $12 shipping costs, from Med  Express Inc, which trades on eBay as med_express_sales.

When the package arrived with postage due of  around $1.40, Ms Nicholls paid it but then went onto eBay and gave Med Express a  negative rating.

She wrote: ‘Order arrived with postage due  with no communication from seller beforehand.’

According to Public Citizen Litigation Group,  Med Express offered to refund her the extra charge, and asked her to remove her  negative comment.

Ms Nicholls refused, because her comment was  correct and because she was more annoyed by the inconvenience of having to pay  extra postage than the amount itself.

At this point Med Express, which has its  headquarters in Medina, OH, and which has only one negative review compared to  around 140 positive reviews in the last six months, sued.

Microscope light that began a lawsuit: Ms Nicholls purchased this $175 light on eBay and paid $12 postage  

Microscope light that began a lawsuit: Ms Nicholls  purchased this $175 light on eBay and paid $12 postage

They admitted that the comment was correct,  but said that she should remove her comment because it could be detrimental to  their sales.

The firm also requested a Temporary  Restraining Order (TRO) against eBay in that hope that it would have the comment  removed.  A judge denied the TRO.

Rather than back down, Ms Nicholls is now  being helped in her case by Public Citizen Litigation Group.

Lawyers for Med Express filed a defamation suit against Ms Nicholls and requested an order be granted to force eBay to take the comment down 

Lawyers for Med Express filed a defamation suit against  Ms Nicholls and requested an order be granted to force eBay to take the comment  down

Public Citizen’s Paul Levy wrote to Med  Express’s lawyer James Amodio saying: ‘Your lawsuit, and your TRO motion, are  completely frivolous and I hope your client will agree to drop both of them  without further proceedings.’

Referring to Ms Nicholls, Mr Levy added: ‘The  point she made in her message to you was that the problem wasn’t the money but  the hassle.

‘She indicated that she would have been  willing to pay 41.40 more in shipping up front, but that she was posting  feedback because a company that ships products ought to be able to do a better  job.’

Public Citizen is now looking for an  Ohio-based lawyer to take on the case on Ms Nicholls’s behalf.

Mr Amodio did not respond to MailOnline’s  request for a comment before this story was published.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2310539/Sued-defamation-The-woman-left-negative-feedback-eBay-seller-admits-criticism-right.html#ixzz2QnRfAQ2B Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook