Joel Fink d/b/a Joel Fink Law Firm v. Better Business Bureau of Minnesota, Inc., et al., No. 62-CV-09-9533
Ramsey County Dist. Ct., Minn.
Type of Case: Defamation
Lawyer(s): Charles E. Spevacek M. Gregory Simpson
Date: Oct 4 2010
The plaintiff, a lawyer, sued the Better Business Bureau’s Minnesota chapter and its national council because it published a “Reliability Report” that gave him a rating of B-. Plaintiff sought damages for defamation per se as well as for lost business and emotional distress, and sought punitive damages alleging that the report was published with willful disregard to his rights. The court granted summary judgment for the BBB, holding that the report, generated in accordance with the BBB’s nationally uniform rating system, was non-defamatory opinion. The court further held, for the first time in Minnesota, that the BBB is entitled to a qualified privilege defense to defamation claims arising from its Reliability Reports.Back to Experience