JT Morris Law recently helped another client win an appeal under the Texas Citizens Participation Act (TCPA), the state’s anti-SLAPP statute. The firm’s client, an Austin citizen, was sued after she posted her honest opinion online about an assisted living facility where her brother lived and sent a complaint about the facility to the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. The assisted living facility sued for defamation, business disparagement, and tortious interference with contract.
JT Morris Law filed a motion to dismiss under the TCPA in the trial court. The trial court granted the motion and awarded the firm’s client her attorney’s fees, costs, and deterrence sanctions under the TCPA. After the assisted living facility appealed the dismissal, the Austin-based Third Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s dismissal of the lawsuit. It concluded that the assisted living facility failed to show the online reviews were defamatory or damaging.
The ruling is another clear example of how strong anti-SLAPP statutes like the TCPA help citizens safeguard their rights to free speech and to petition the government on issues about public safety and health.