VERO BEACH – American Icon Brewery, LLC filed a lawsuit last month against Vero Beach resident Marissa Tirro for LIBEL/SLANDER after she allegedly spoke poorly about the establishment in a Facebook review.
“Defendant stated, among other things, that Plaintiff ‘abuses its employees,'” according to the complaint. Attorney Thomas Tierney is representing the American Icon Brewery.
The lawsuit also alleges that even after the Vero Beach brewery responded to the allegations by calling them false, 14 other people allegedly connected to Tirro also wrote inaccurate comments online, according to the lawsuit.
“Few, if any of the defendant’s friends and family members had been to the Plaintiff’s brewery restaurant,” the lawsuit says. “One of the additional false reviews stated that the ‘owner is the rudest person I ever met.'”
The brewery said they are not suing because it had a bad review, no business owner wants to sue their customers, said owner Michael Rechter.
American Icon Brewery went forward with the lawsuit because the comments Tirro posted on Facebook were not true, and the business must stand up for its Vero Beach employees.
We tried to find Marissa Tirro’s post dated Nov. 7, but it has since been deleted. Businesses that enable the review functions on their Facebook page cannot delete comments.
We did find another user named Joe Tirro who gave a one-star rating and complained about the beer, food, and service.
Rechter and American Icon Brewery are seeking monetary damages from Tirro, including compensation for the loss of business reputation from what it calls defamation, conspiracy to defame and libel.
For a company to sue on the grounds of defamation, slander, or libel, there must be supported facts behind the opinion or comments. In other words, if someone accuses the company of abusing its employees, that person must present evidence that there is abuse.
“Defendant knew or should have known that such false and libelous statements would cause injury or harm to [American Icon Brewery],” the lawsuit stated.
There is also the argument of Free Speech. “How will they sue for freedom of speech,” Michael Bellitto commented in the reviews.
Rechter recently said people can’t go online and just write anything they want, and the brewery is not going to let someone say whatever they want without repercussions.
Currently, American Icon Brewery’s Facebook page shows a 4.5 rating out of five stars.