Ranking of “Dirtiest Hotels” Based on User Ratings is “Unverifiable Rhetorical Hyperbole”–Seaton v. TripAdvisor (Partial Forbes Cross-Post)

1 09 2012

By Eric Goldman

[This is another situation where I’m posting the first draft of this post here and linking to the Forbes version, which reads a little differently. As always, I welcome feedback about which version you liked better.]

Seaton v. TripAdvisor, LLC, 3:11-cv-549 (E.D. Tenn. August 22, 2012)

TripAdvisor compiles its user ratings into an annual ranking of the top 10 “dirtiest hotels.” Not surprisingly, hotels making the list don’t feel very honored. The 2011 loser, the Grand Resort in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, sued TripAdvisor for defamation and related claims. Concluding that the “dirtiest hotels” ranking constituted non-actionable opinion, the court dismissed the case on a 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss.

This opinion necessarily gets into the messy distinction between objective facts and subjective opinions.


The content in this post was found at http://blog.ericgoldman.org/archives/2012/08/ranking_of_dirt.htm and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.



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