AfterDawn: Tech news

Landlord sues tenant over Twitter post

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 29 Jul 2009 17:20 User comments (19)

Landlord sues tenant over Twitter post Horizon Group Management, a company that manages over 1500 apartments in Chicago has sued former tenant Amanda Bonnen for defamation after reading a Twitter post in which she blasts the living conditions of her building.
The landlord is looking for $50,000 USD in the suit, and is claiming the Tweet "maliciously and wrongfully" defames them.

The news quickly made its rounds across the Internet, especially after Horizon owner Jeffrey Michael said blatantly, "We're a sue first, ask questions later kind of an organization."

Horizon has apologized for Michael's statement but they could have a real public relations crisis, especially if Bonnen's claims were at all real.

Statement via WPNews

Horizon Realty Press Release

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19 user comments

129.7.2009 17:45

And thus the suing culture continues.

229.7.2009 18:14
H08
Inactive

Quote:
"We're a sue first, ask questions later kind of an organization."
hahaha, i knew one of these days somebody would say it!
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 29 Jul 2009 @ 18:15

329.7.2009 18:24

Show pictures of the buildings and apartments via unbaised sources, that will pretty much end it right then and their....

429.7.2009 19:23

Originally posted by ZippyDSM:
Show pictures of the buildings and apartments via unbaised sources, that will pretty much end it right then and their....
Too late for that, since they're entering court over it I'd assume that they'd clean up their mess.

529.7.2009 23:07

shows you how much they know about mold.

Wah..Wah this tenent said we suck goat nuts wah.. wah... lets sue Wah boo hoo hoo.

god its twitter people not some factual people are gonna read it and believe it deal. i hate twatter & MyFace anyway and YouNoob.

629.7.2009 23:10

Originally posted by DXR88:
shows you how much they know about mold.

Wah..Wah this tenent said we suck goat nuts wah.. wah... lets sue Wah boo hoo hoo.

god its twitter people not some factual people are gonna read it and believe it deal. i hate twatter & MyFace anyway and YouNoob.

Don't worry they are treating the net the same as real life....oh wait...we are fcked!!

729.7.2009 23:18

hey zippy did you notice the document in the article is crooked

830.7.2009 0:03

Honestly who really gives a rats ass, the whole scenario is just stupid as it is funny and honestly it will likely be the last we hear of it. Still I think the owner should be put under certain restraints, as that kind of line is the kind that damages the reputation of the company.

Therefor my theory is, should Horizon go after anyone, it should be the owner for opening that stupid mouth of his. After all, he was provoked into damaging the reputation of the company, he should be liable for not putting on a professional face. The verdict for counter sue of Horizon VS Amanda on defamation should go to Amanda; after all, all she did was post her feelings on her situation, it was the owner that took his statement out of context causing any damage and in order to gain $ for defamation, you have to prove in court that there was not only intent, but actual proof that they loss business due to the twitter comment. However they will likely win the mold battle she's suing for.

930.7.2009 1:07

so much for "freedom of speech"

1030.7.2009 5:20
doomdiver
Inactive

Wow... Well done here! Blow out a single Twitter post that very few people will see and make it so fifty times the original audience can see the criticism. You can see the genius that planning that took.

1130.7.2009 6:55
llongtheD
Inactive

This thing will get blown over quicker than a high ranking drunk diplomat, that just ran some innocent over, then jetted out of the country.
Wait, did that really happen?

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 30 Jul 2009 @ 6:56

If your fish seems sick, put it back in the water.

1230.7.2009 12:48

Originally posted by djscoop:
so much for "freedom of speech"
Huh? This isn't a freedom of speech issue. Do you think they would have sued her if she was praising the company? No. The real issue is that they believe that she is lying about the condition of the apartment.

Since we do not know if there was mold in the apartment or not, we don't know who is lying. But if she is lying that does hurt that company's reputation and they have a right to protect it.

Would you let someone run around ruining your reputation? No or you might say you don't care. But companies do care and want the best reputation they can get. People remember the bad things a lot better than the good things, sadly.

Now, if the apartment has mold in it like she says, then I would think it would be in the best interest of the company to try to not to make a scene about it by paying her off instead of suing.

1330.7.2009 13:16

Reputation & honor are not protected by the courts they are protected by you. the mere thought of someone suing of damaging a reputation is laughable and arrogant.

1430.7.2009 13:21
varnull
Inactive

The simple fact of it is this.. If it was a lie they would laugh and show pictures of their apartments.. have they done that? NO .. so she's case proven BY the fact of their legal action. Only the guilty use the courts to uphold their dubious reputations..

Coming from somebody forced to pay ever increasing rent in a condemned and dangerous building..

1530.7.2009 15:14

For all those stating the company should show proof on the net that the apartment contained no mold, and because they haven't they are the guilty party; that's not necessarily true. Evidence should be held accordingly for trial and then posted afterwords once a decision has been made.

Bottom line is, they even stated; it's only one person that has the issue and none of the tenants. If that fact alone is true, the tenant already lost the case unless SHE can prove with pictures there was in fact mold prior to the date she broke the lease. If she can't prove that, she may be entitled to pay contract breaking fees for not having a legitimate valid reason for moving.

1630.7.2009 19:33

Bonnen sued first & was stupid enough to post on twitter un proven allegations,it seems she didn't want to live there anymore & was looking for an excuse to leave,it seems it all stemmed from a water leak into more than just her apartment according to horizon it was fixed & if there were any issues it was up to the tenants to advise them if anything that was affected by the leak later on to contact them so it could be remedied,so by contract she was obligated to give them time to fix any issues, if this was not done in reasonable time she could then sue for breach of contract,question now is whether or not time was given, if at all there was an issue,so will have to wait till it goes to court to see who's lying

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 30 Jul 2009 @ 19:37

1731.7.2009 1:36

Originally posted by DXR88:
Reputation & honor are not protected by the courts they are protected by you. the mere thought of someone suing of damaging a reputation is laughable and arrogant.
Laughable and arrogant? Not really. Do you think she would have listened if the company asked her to remove what she posted? Unlikely and lets hope they did that first before they sued her. So what else are they to do?

Besides, the company takes a risk in reputation to do this. Imagine if the court finds that she is correct. Then the company gets a bad rep for the mold and for suing needlessly. That doesn't seem to be a wise move to me. Small companies live or die on their reputation and word of mouth. I can't blame them if they try to protect it legally, IF they are in the right.

1831.7.2009 12:53

While it is unfortunate that her posting on Twitter will undoubtedly hurt the reputation of the company, I don't see the difference between this and over half of the reviews that are placed on public rating websites all the time (i.e. ratemyapartments.com, apartmentratings.com, etc...). What is even more unfortunate is the inability of the average joe to recognize the difference between actual truth and blatant attempts to defame companies due to slight, yet overblown, misunderstandings (not saying this was necessarily the case though).

If Horizon Realty Group did not fix her apartment out of the lot of others that needed it as well, then shame on them. However, I would like to know whether or not Ms. Bonnen made the effort to get in touch with management in the first place. If she did, how long did she wait before she made mention of it?

Ms. Bonnen's post on Twitter was really no different than someone posting "Obama sucks!" pre-election. People have their thoughts and are free (or at least should be free) to express them. I never saw any lawsuit from the Democratic party stating that their reputation was being defamed based on one person's (or in the case of a Presidential election, usually WAY more than one) accusations/personal feelings.

I support Horizon Realty Group in the fact that she probably shouldn't have said what she did if they did in fact take necessary steps to fix the leaks stated. However, I support Ms. Bonnen in the fact that, well, this is America and the most extreme punishment she should receive, if any at all, is a shaking finger and a "that's not nice Amanda..."

Basically... she can say whatever the fck she wants!

194.8.2009 6:16

It amazes me how silly our society has come too. Maybe the tenanat has tried on many occasion to get the landlords attention and to get him to do something about it but i guess he finally got the landlords attention

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