Couple Says They're Being Sued $112K for Giving 1-Star Review to Roofing Company

A Vancouver, Washington, couple said they are being sued for a six-figure settlement after they said they received poor service from a roofing company and gave them a one-star Google review.

Autumn Knepper and Adam Marsh told KGW-TV this week that Executive Roof Services (ERS) sued them for $112,000 after they each left one-star reviews of the company's services. Knepper and Marsh were reportedly served a lawsuit by ERS that accused them of defamation and intentional interference with business expectancy.

Knepper and Marsh wrote in their respective online reviews that the receptionist of the roofing company, which was sent to their home by their landlord to fix a leak, was "rude" and that ERS allegedly didn't follow through on the services they were tasked with completing. The couple also filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau, which a lawyer for the roofing company told KGW-TV is proof that the two went out of their way to cause harm to the family-owned roofing company.

"[The ERS receptionist] refused to give me any information. She said I would have to get it from the landlord. I asked to speak with the manager and she laughed at me. She told me I was verbally abusing her and that she was the office manager. She hung up on me," said Knepper.

"She was just super rude, told me that she was office manager and there was no one else I could talk to and hung up on me," Marsh added, noting that neither tenant was informed of when the company would finally complete the supposedly scheduled roof repairs.

The owner of ERS, Michael Mecham, contacted the Vancouver couple and told Knepper that her negative review needed to be taken down immediately before "more damages were done" to their reputation.

"He told me that he knew where I lived. He said he had forensics guy and that he would gladly spend a hundred thousand dollars suing me," said Knepper, who added that she contacted local police, who in turn told Mecham not to contact the couple anymore.

And it was then, Knepper said, that the Jordan Ramis law firm reached out to the couple on behalf of ERS to demand they take down the one-star Google reviews.

"Honestly, I cried immediately. I was terrified. I can't afford a lawyer. I can't afford to pay $112,000. And I can't, I don't want to file for bankruptcy," said Knepper.

Numerous lawsuits across the U.S. have emerged in recent years over negative online business reviews. Many of these businesses were successful in winning tens of thousands of dollars from customers who posted bad reviews, with plaintiffs ranging from restaurants to doctor's offices. In New York City, a gynecologist filed a $1 million lawsuit against a woman over a critical Yelp review in 2018.

David Bowser, an attorney representing the roofing company, told KGW-TV that the lawsuit is not actually about the negative reviews. He explained: "They intentionally harmed ERS by posting one-star reviews for the purpose of getting a report they weren't entitled to."

Newsweek reached out to Executive Roof Services for comment.

Roofing company sues couple over review
Stock photo. A Vancouver, Washington, couple says they are being sued for a six-figure settlement after they said they received poor service from a roofing company and gave them a one-star Google review. istock/Getty/Lex20