USA: “dirtiest hotel in America” not defamatory

In 2011, TripAdvisor rated Grand Resort Hotel and Convention Center in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee number one on its list of the “Dirtiest Hotels in America.” Grand Resort’s sole proprietor filed suit against TripAdvisor, alleging claims of defamation, false-light invasion of privacy, tortious interference with prospective business relationships and trade libel/injurious falsehood. The district court granted TripAdvisor’s motion to dismiss, finding the list to be protected opinion and therefore not capable of being defamatory. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit upheld this decision: the list’s loose, hyperbolic language was not capable of being defamatory and the list was protected opinion because it communicated only the opinions of TripAdvisor’s users; it would be clear to any reader that TripAdvisor was not making an actual assertion of fact with their list.Judgement of Aug. 28, 2013 in Case Kenneth M. Seaton v. TripAdvisor LLC availbale here>>.

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