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Can a Texas business sue a Yelper?

On Behalf of | May 9, 2024 | Business Litigation

In the digital age, online reviews have become a significant factor in shaping the reputation of businesses. However, negative reviews can sometimes be a source of concern for businesses as they can negatively impact sales and profits. This brings us to the question: Can a Texas business sue a customer over their online reviews?

Texas Citizens Participation Act

The Texas Citizens Participation Act, often referred to as the “Anti-SLAPP law,” is designed to protect people from Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation. These are lawsuits filed to intimidate someone into silence by claiming damage to reputation or wrongful interference in an effort to get honest reviewers to take down their reviews. The TCPA protects First Amendment rights, such as free speech, the right to petition and the right of association.

Does this mean that businesses can never sue?

No. To sue someone for a bad review, the review must be defamatory or legally actionable, violate an online review platform’s Terms of Service or attempt to extort or harass the business. The key to being actionable is whether the review is based on a lie.

How can businesses sue?

If a business decides to sue over a negative review, it must prove that the review is false and defamatory. The business must also demonstrate that it suffered damage as a result of the defamatory statement.


While Texas businesses can sue over online reviews, they must tread carefully. The review must be defamatory or legally actionable, and the business must be able to prove this in court. It is essential for businesses to understand the legal landscape surrounding online reviews and to respond appropriately to maintain their reputation.