Port St. Lucie woman sued for defamation, after she posted negative online review of business

Lawsuit says her posts damaged reputation

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - Susan Cedeno purchased a hot tub from Spa King in Port St. Lucie in April.

"The spa leaked the first time I used it," said Cedeno. "So (the Spa King) had it repaired. But then it leaked again. My carpet stank from the water, and I wanted a refund."

Cedeno said she tried to return the spa. The company offered to take it back with a 10% restocking fee, or give her another spa for $800, because she had signed a "no returns" receipt, but she refused.

"I didn't want another used spa at that point, because it was already a bad experience," said Cedeno.

She got her charge reversed through her credit card company, and then posted a negative review on RipoffReport.com.

She claims the Spa King's owner told her to remove her online posts, or post on the same website that she received a new spa from the company, or they would seek legal recourse against her.

"He told me to write on there, stating that he gave me a new spa, and that I was a happy customer," said Cedeno.

Now, Cedeno is being sued, with the lawsuit claiming her posts were libel, and that they did damage to the Spa King's business reputations and relations to the retail public. I

n the lawsuit, the Spa King says they suffered reputation damages in excess of $20,000, and they are seeking the cost of the spa.

NewsChannel 5 reached the owner, Chris Weiss, by phone. He said he could not comment because of the pending litigation.

Cedeno kept records of what she claims occurred, so she said she's ready to go to court to defend what she believes is her right to post her opinions online. She also has filed complaints with the BBB and the attorney general's consumer protection division.

"He's infringing on my rights as an American," said Cedeno. "This is my story, it's exactly what happened to me, I can prove everything I put down. I have emails, pictures, everything. "




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