The owner of a Massachusetts jewelry store has been awarded nearly $35,000 in his lawsuit over a bogus online review written by a worker at a rival shop.
The Patriot Ledger reports that a jury determined Adam Jacobs caused Stephen Blumberg emotional distress by posting a false Yelp review in 2013.
Jacobs is the son of the owner of Toodie's Fine Jewelry in Quincy. Blumberg owns nearby Stephen Leigh Jewelers.
The reviewer wrote that while shopping for a 1.5-carat diamond engagement ring at Blumberg's store he had a generally poor experience and suggested shoppers "go elsewhere."
"It was like sticking a knife in someone's back," said Blumberg.
He says the encounter was fabricated.
"Oh, I was incensed by it, I just couldn't believe it, it was so inflammatory," said Blumberg.
After his bad review, Blumberg said he started looking at other Yelp reviews left by "Adam J". After a few months, he was able to determine who he was.
"I just can't believe this, this is a fellow competitor, I have never met the guy in my life, I never met him face to face, until the first day in court," Blumberg said.
Blumberg then sued Toodie's, claiming the interaction in the review never happened and that Adam J was Adam Jacobs, the owner's son.
An employee at store declined comment.
"I had no beef with him, and no beef with his father, we were in the same city, we should be friendly competitors," Blumberg said.
The attorney for Jacobs and Toodie's says he's considering an appeal and possible post-trial motions.