Yelp! Sued Over Alleged Protection Racket

Dozier Internet Law, P.C. Targeting “Money Men” and “Foot Soldiers”

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“The day of reckoning for Yelp! is upon it, and all the backtracking and mea culpae won’t undo the devastating harm that has been visited upon small businesses all across the country."

Glen Allen, VA (PRWEB) May 7, 2010

Dozier Internet Law, P.C. has filed a lawsuit (Case No. CGC-10-499227) on behalf of Dr. Gelareh Rahbar and RAHBAR Dentistry, PC in the Superior Court of California, County of San Francisco, against Yelp! Inc. The lawsuit alleges that Yelp! has been operating an unlawful protection scheme, in the form of a traditional protection racket, in which payments are demanded for protecting small businesses from online attacks that Yelp! effectively controls. The lawsuit sets forth claims for attempted extortion and extortion, unfair competition, unauthorized commercial use of name, conspiracy to injure in trade, business, and reputation, interference with contract, and intentional interference with prospective economic advantage.

Dr. Gelareh Rahbar, an honors graduate from the UCLA Dental School, alleges that gross revenue for her dental practice dropped from $150,000 to $52,000 in a matter of weeks after allegedly being targeted by Yelp!. The lawsuit claims that Dr. Rahbar paid the protection demands, and then continued to pay the monthly payments to Yelp! for protection as its demands increased to over double the original monthly payments. When Dr. Rahbar exercised her constitutionally protected right to access the courts to pursue individuals defaming her practice, she claims Yelp! notified her that since she had availed herself of this constitutional right it would no longer protect her business.

The widely reported changes to Yelp!’s business processes in the past several weeks in response to class action lawsuits are a starting point for addressing the alleged misconduct, according to John W. Dozier, Jr. of Dozier Internet Law. “The day of reckoning for Yelp! is upon it, and all the backtracking and mea culpae won’t undo the devastating harm that has been visited upon small businesses all across the country. We intend to identify and hold responsible not only Yelp! but those financiers that have acted as ‘money men’ and others who are the ‘foot soldiers’ carrying out the day-to-day operation of this alleged protection racket”, Dozier said.

If you would like more information about this topic, please contact John W. Dozier, Jr., at Dozier Internet Law, P.C., 11520 Nuckols, Rd., Suite 101, Glen Allen, Virginia 23059 for further information. You may email Mr. Dozier at jwd(at)cybertriallawyer(dot)com or visit the Dozier Internet Law, P.C. website at http://www.cybertriallawyer.com.

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