Plaintiff: "MyGentlelase," a Vienna, Va.-based laser hair removal and electrolysis center, and Soraya Nouralian, MyGentlelase owner.
Defendant: A Google Maps commenter with the handle "Devaki," true identity unknown.
You're a star: Twenty people have reviewed Nouralian's Vienna hair removal business on Google Maps, where they have raved about Nouralian's warmth, professionalism, and life-saving hair-removal skills. Each of these reviewers has awarded MyGentlelase a five-star rating—except "Devaki", who gave it only one.
Hair today: Nouralian is now suing Devaki's real-life counterpart, whomever that may be, over the 15-word review accompanying that star: "what a scam: did you notice that Joe's and Sarah's review are exactly the same?"
Devaki left the comment on Sept. 2; as it stands now, MyGentlelase's Google Maps page contains a review by a sarah, but none by a Joe.
According to papers filed in United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, "Doe has posted highly inflammatory, false and disparaging messages about Plaintiff," the lawsuit claims. "Defendant clicked one star in the five-star rating system of Google." Now, "Because of Defendant's disparaging statements, Plaintiff's reputation and good name has been injured."
Relief: MyGentlelase is suing Devaki for libel and tortious interference with a business relationship. The company seeks damages and an injunction against the Google reviewer from posting "defamatory statements about Plaintiff using Google or any other webpage."