Q: Do we have grounds for bank violating trust / damaging our business?
My wife manages her therapy business finance at Bank X. Recently, she had a difficulty with a teller, and was short with teller. Teller, who was likely unhappy about altercation, immediately used confidential access she had to my wife's business practice to go to her Google Business page and leave a One Star review. She would not have had this info otherwise. My wife invests in Google Ads/optimization, this put her perfect 5 star review to a lower % negatively. After going back to Bank X, the bank manager spent the weekend with this difficult issue. They said in 20 years they never saw this type of behavior. Bank X kept focusing on discipline, which my wife told her, "I don't care about that. Just want rating removed" Eventually employee took rating down. This incident was a HUGE security breach / violation of trust. Bank X has not offered any resolution to ensure we can safely bank here or they will protect confidentiality. EDIT issue is less about review, more teller's retaliation
You could potentially sue for defamation. However the overwhelming majority of courts have found that reviews on sites like Google Business are "opinions" and protected free speech. Also, you would have to prove tangible damages, such as specific loss of business. Since the review has been deleted, proof of damages would be difficult.
You may want to attempt to negotiate a pre-litigation settlement through an attorney. Also, there may be another angle relating to, (as you say), breach of trust/security that I am not aware of. I hope other lawyers will provide ideas on this forum that would be useful for you.
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A: Interesting fact pattern. I can see your cause for concern. I'm not sure unless the employee used bank resources or confidential information, or perhaps left the negative review as representative of the bank, that the bank has any real liability here. You may have some facts to suggest otherwise - which would be required for you to prove in a lawsuit - that this is different than this employee taking things personally and going out on his or her free time to leave a negative review of a business. I'm just not sure there is a security breach here. But you absolutely should have a serious conversation with the bank about their employment practices and what they plan to do differently in the future to ensure your continued business.
1 user found this answer helpful
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