Family-Owned Insurance Brokerage – Defamatory Facebook Page Taken Down
The client is a family-owned, middle-market insurance brokerage firm that recruits agents to sell its products. An unknown person created a Facebook page that accused the business of being a scam, hurting the client’s reputation. The client initially reached out amicably to the anonymous page owner, to no avail. The client also asked Facebook take down the page, without success. Arnall Golden Gregory was then hired to get the page removed.
One of the challenges was that the page was anonymous. So Arnall Golden Gregory filed a “John Doe” lawsuit in U.S. District Court Northern District of Georgia and filed a motion to take expedited discovery, which the judge granted. The court order allowed AGG to take discovery of Facebook and other internet service providers. AGG subpoenaed Facebook with the judge’s order, seeking all users and administrators of the Facebook page. Facebook disclosed the identity of the page creator. AGG researched who the person was, found his address and amended the complaint, replacing John Doe with the name of the actual page owner, who turned out to be a relative of a disgruntled agent.
AGG sent the defendant a letter, informing him that he had been sued in federal court and asked him to take the page down, which he did. After that, AGG negotiated an agreement with the person to not restore the page or accuse the company on other social media channels. This online attack was not a one-off incident. Two other Facebook pages and a couple of YouTube videos have also defamed the client and discussed litigation involving the client. AGG is addressing those attacks, as well.
- Anuj Desai