Two former employees of ABC Estates who posted critical Google reviews of the company using made-up names face paying out £60,000 each and must make an apology in open court, according to friends.
Dhir Doshi and Thomas Govan, who claimed to have acted in the public interest, failed in a court action to strike out a libel and defamation claim in December last year, clearing the way for a full trial.
Richard Davidoff, his wife Hanni and grown-up daughters Tamara and Debby, ABC Block Management Limited and ABC Hendon Limited claim Mr Doshi and Mr Govan had accused them of fraud, dishonesty, permitting staff to steal from tenants and posting false positive reviews on social media.
The two were identified as the authors of anonymous critical reviews by means of a “Norwich Pharmacal application” that revealed the IP addresses used for the reviews: this process has been deployed frequently to identify anonymous postings online.
It is understood that the two had until April 8 to decide whether to apologise in open court and pay damages and costs or risk the matter going to full trial. A hearing has been set for 9 May in the Queen’s Bench Division to hear the apology in open court (below)
On March 31 Sir Peter Bottomley tabled an early day motion, so far signed by five MPs:
“That this House is concerned about how customers and employees can safely raise questions of business practice; and calls on the Select Committee on Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to invite Richard Davidoff to give evidence of his experience.”