Normally, under CDA Sec. 230 (federal law), websites are not responsible for third party user ratings/comments. This would stay true here too, except that the site is manually (on purpose or not) is grading the business lower than the tally of the third party users.
If so, then yes, it may be liable.
To sue in a state court, one needs to have a "cause of action." There are numerous causes of action, such as "breach of contract
," "negligence," "fraud," "unjust enrichment," etc., as well as causes of action rooted in statutory law. Every state has their own although they are very similar to each other in every state because they all stem from the same common law. A pleading in Court needs at least one cause of action, although it is not unusual to have more than one.
Here, the site may be liable for:
DEFAMATION - Under Florida law, the elements of a defamation claim are: the defendant published a false statement; about the plaintiff; to a third party; and the falsity of the statement caused injury to the plaintiff.Border Collie Rescue v. Ryan, 418 F.Supp.2d 1330, 1348 (M.D.Fla. 2006).
A plaintiff must also prove that the defendant's fault in publishing the statement amounted to at least negligence
NEGLIGENCE - The four elements of negligence are (1) a legal duty owed by defendant to plaintiff, (2) breach of that duty by defendant, (3) an injury to plaintiff legally caused by defendant's breach, and (4) damages as a result of the injury. Paterson v. Deeb, 472 So. 2d 1210 - Fla: Dist. Court of Appeals, 1st Dist. 1985
So yes, AL may be liable in such a situation.
I hope this helps and clarifies. Please use the SEND or REPLY button to keep chatting, or please RATE when finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating. Kindly rate my answer as one of TOP THREE FACES/STARS and then SUBMIT, as this is how experts get credit for our time. Rating my answer the bottom two faces/stars (or failing to submit the rating) does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith with a positive rating.