Don't Talk Smack About Ohio Businesses Or They Can Sue You In Ohio

The Columbus Dispatch says that the Supreme Court of Ohio has decided that its perfectly OK for Ohio businesses to sue residents of other states for defamatory comments made on the Internet, as long as people from Ohio saw the comments.

From the Dispatch:

After [the customer] posted highly critical comments about the company and its owner on racing-related websites, Kauffman Racing Equipment sued him in Knox County Common Pleas Court. But the judge said the court couldn’t take the case because Roberts lived in another state.

In a decision written by Justice Paul E. Pfeifer, the Supreme Court said Ohio courts could hear the case because Roberts’ comments were viewed by Ohioans.

“[the customer] posted his allegedly defamatory statements on the Internet, ostensibly for the entire world to see. How much of the world saw the comments is unknown; but we do know that at least five Ohioans saw [the customer]‘s statements,” Pfeifer wrote. “The comments were thus published in Ohio.”

Top court says businesses may sue residents of other states in Ohio over Internet comments [Dispatch] (Thanks,Laurie!)