Sue first, ask questions later?!
Da-amn. I don't think they need to wait around for other people to ruin their reputation - they seem perfectly capable of doing it themselves. Are those guys for real?!
Pop quiz. You find a disparaging post about your company on Twitter that's written by a client who's followed by a mere 20 people. You fear the offhand remark about the poor quality of your service could harm your company's reputation. What's the absolute worst way to make it go away? Do you: A) ignore it. B) remedy the …
Don't Horizon realise that look like bullies and now the whole internet knows how they deal with their tenants. If they'd simply asked for her to take down the tweet no one would be any the wiser instead the whole web knows and will know for some time, that will damage their reputation more.
So they don't like a negative comment made by a customer they have failed that will be seen by no one (after all who looks up a letting agent on twitter).
So instead of offering any semblance of a good service they slap a now very public lawsuit on them. Showing not only do they dire customer service's, they own comments state they would rather sue you than ask questions and now a lot more people than ever before now know how poor they are.
Well done on doing a lot more harm than you could ever have gotten to your reputation for a simple twitter comment.
On top of that claiming 50k damages? that's hardly reasonable what with the company not being named directly. Horizon could refer to so many companies only a limited number of people who knew who that person used as a letting agent would know what that meant. Meaning that this would have had even less impact than they claim
When I website I helped set up and hosted ended up with a slightly negative comment about a pub the landlord barred all my friends and wanted to know where I lived so he could "Come and have a quiet word" with me which sort of backed up the comments made about the landlord.
If a company / person is bothered by a single tweet / website comment and claims it has damaged their business its a sign of total desperation.
The most damagiing thing to their reputation that I read in that post was:
'"We're a sue first, ask questions later kind of an organization," Jeffery Michael, whose family runs Horizon, told the Chicago Sun-Times, noting the company never asked Bonnen to take the post down.'
Unless there are people out there who like people who sue first and ask questions later?
The question is... Was the apartment mouldy, and had the landlord failed to resolve the problem?
If so it sounds to me like they are okay with their tenant sleeping in a mouldy apartment... You can't be charged with libel or defamation if the accusations are true!
Then again, I'm speaking from the UK law view point, and we are yet to completely sell out to the corporate mentality (we're working on it), so in the USA it might be completely legal for big company to drag little person through the courts and win.
they have something to hide, if they were able to pick out that comment, and knew it was directed at them, they're obviously aware of the situation, which makes the comment valid and therefore they're not entitled to any damages.
Several years the US government and many states enacted legislation prohibiting this kind of behavior, known as a S.L.A.P.P. lawsuit, Illinois was one of them. this suit will go nowhere...
Anyone shocked at the "sue first" comment should just realize that Chicago is just that kind of a place. People think NYC is harsh but New Yorkers are kindly humanitarians compared to the disgusting soul-less sharks that reside in Chicago. No wonder Blagojevich loves that town. Note to the hapless tenant being sued for 50k: sue the sausages right back; that's the only way you will get these pork-loving bluffers to back off. Note to Chicago: swine-flu=you.
So seeing as they just took this public and all that, I guess emailing them and telling them in verbatim the 1st Amendment rights and SLAPP suits. Being that im from NY does this mean it will now become a Federal case?
/Credit goes to AC Tuesday 28th July 2009 21:55 GMT for this idea.
Let the good times roll I say
So seeing as your suing a former tenet about a post on Twitter that I never heard of or saw (and probably the rest of the world), there by drawing attention to it which is more then likely to harm you more then it would have. And not to mention the classic comment ""We're a sue first, ask questions later kind of an organization," Jeffery Michael" from your owner (Boy that one is a winner), your going to sue for damages you brought upon yourself by bringing this to light. Problem is this guys and gals, I quote verbatim so sorry if this bothers you:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
and you might want to read this page FYI:
You fail :) Enjoy the adverse attention people you earned it.
BTW your more then welcome to contact me regarding this message.
Yup I just sent that to them. Lets see if I can get my name added :)
If you had just shut up and let it be, no one would have cared. Now you make a big song and dance and instead of 20 people it's more likely to be half a million and rising by the hour, who all think you're a petty vindictive company with nothing better to do than pick on it's customers.
Methinks with this much word of mouth damage, $50k could just be the tip of the financial iceberg!
If she can show that any other tenant of a Horizon apartment has a mould problem that has been reported and has yet to be resolved without the tenant being temporarily rehoused then it could be argued that Horizon are OK with that tenant living in a mouldy apartment. If that is the case then what she has reported via her twitter is accurate.
Years ago we had a rented flat with a leaking roof and later a mould problem. Time after time we reported the leak, the damp, and eventually the mould. They only really showed any interest when we took a significant chunk of mould that had grown (a kind of bracket fungus that look a little like an ear) round to their office (which was also their estate agency business) on a busy Saturday morning and asked in a loud voice if they thought it was OK to allow tenants to live in such conditions.
I feel fairly safe making these comments because it is very unlikely that anyone will remember having a blue tenant that carries a blanket everywhere. It was a long time ago.
By putting Horizon Group Management into these responses, then anyone searching for Horizon Group Management are more likely to find that Horizon Group Management gets more hits to this site than the Horizon Group Management site, the people that sue first, ask later.
So Horizon Group Management, welcome to the world of stupid lawsuits.
Heres to Horizon Group Management and their wonderful customer service.
Lots of love
A non Horizon Group Management home dweller.
"Can you countersue Horizon for exacerbating the problem (by giving it press) and inflating the damages?"
I doubt that is itself possible (although there might be the possibility of counter suing for defamation depending on how it was taken to the press) but it is now established in courts that any "damage" by this now being global rather than just 20 wasters on twitter is the fault and responsibility of the plaintiff and any damages would only be based on the initial figure of 20 readers.
Most likely the failure to approach the defendant and give her an opportunity to remove the statement and issue a "clarification" (and the sue first statement) will harm their case far more than anything else could except of course the truth.
Not sure how things are in the US but over here truth is an absolute defence against libel and associated actions - I assume it is similar in the US.
>We're a sue first, ask questions later kind of an <del>country</del> organization...
>Here in Germany, for that statement alone the lawsuit would be thrown out and that comapny fined for abuse of the law.
I'm sure there in America they wouldn't appreciate you tarring the entire country with the same litigious brush. I mean, they'd probably sue you, etc.
Seriously, though, bit less of the extrapolation? Ta.
Now they have truly damaged their image. You should see the amount of tweets about horizon now. the mold loving company. Basically what they are pursuing is the same thing many totalitarian religions groups have been trying to do for ages, introduce blasphemy laws. Free speech goes out of the window with this lot.
hope the judge tells them where to stick their lawsuit. They cant take this case seriously.
Sounds like it is easy enough for horizon to lose it. If the apartment is moldy then there is nothing libellous about that post.
She can probably counter sue after it for emotional stress. In an all honesty I wouldn't blame her either.
Sue first ask questions later what kind of stupid company policy is that?
This is the UK, land of Healthy & Safety!
In England, you can be sued for not clearing snow off the pavement, should some errant soul slip on it.
And in Scotland, the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond simply teem with litigious types. There's an empty primary school in Midlothian whose lights burn all day, all night, all year long - for fear that a burglar may break in, and in the dark stumble injuriously on his way to the claims court. (It's a warranted fear, too: there is precedent)
So are the Americans guilty of the crime of which you accuse them? Perhaps, but careful of casting first stones - someone might pick one up and throw it right back.
Horizon Group Management, Chicago - the people that sue first, ask later - seem to have been a bit silly, don't they?
It would seem that pretty much no-one here would let or rent an appartment from Horizon Group Management site, Chicago - the people that sue first, ask later.
Hi Mum. And Mr Google bot.
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