A Richmond, Va., jeweler has sued a crosstown rival for allegedly posting a defamatory review on a social network.
According to a suit filed Aug. 13 in Richmond circuit court, the owner of Cheryl Fornash jewelers claims an employee of Studio K by Kambourian Jewelers posted a review on Google+ falsely accusing Fornash of fencing stolen diamonds.
“If you are buying a diamond from her, it’s probably stolen from somebody else’s house,” said the review, attributed to “Em Bee,” which claimed that the store bought his grandmother’s stolen engagement ring. It added: “I don’t understand how she can have 36 back-to-back 5-star reviews, they are obviously fake.”
After trying to contact the poster, the jeweler conducted an investigation and determined the writer was an employee of Kambourian whose initials are M.B., the suit claims.
Fornash’s lawyer contacted Kambourian and demanded the post be taken down. A day later, it was.
But the story was not over. “From Jan. 22 to May 20, over 3,750 potential customers read [Fornash’s] Google+ account. During this period of time, Plaintiff’s business declined.” That decline is attributed to the review, “as there have been no other changes,” the suit says.
The complaint charges the various defendants, including the store employee and its owner, with conspiracy and defamation, and seeks $250,000 in damages, plus $350,000 from each defendant.
Kambourian Jewelers’ attorney did not answer a request for comment, but told the Richmond Times-Herald the store denies wrongdoing “and looks forward to vindication in a court of law concerning these outlandish allegations. They decline any further comment while litigation is pending.”