Water Company Sues Customer For Defamation Over Video Of Faucet Spouting Yellow Liquid

If you look up the definition of defamation in the dictionary — just kidding, we’re not going that route. But it does remain to be seen whether filming yellow water coming out of a faucet counts as defamation, as one utility company in Arizona claims.

The woman who posted the video said the yellow stuff coming out of her faucet is water, and that she was shocked to see it when she turned on the tap one morning, reports AZFamily.com.

“I came downstairs and went to wash my dishes and there was yellow water,” she says.

She posted the video online afterward on a Facebook page where others in her community were complaining about the private utility that delivers water to the area. That’s when the lawsuit arrived, seeking $100,000 in damages and claiming she had defamed the company by making disparaging postings, with the intent to disparage and harm the utility company.

The customer says she’s not sure why the company went after her, as others have also been complaining about the water.

“You have to ask the plaintiffs,” says her lawyer. “They are the ones who brought the lawsuit on that.”

As her attorney points out, the company has to prove a few things in order to win — to defame someone the statement you make about them must be false. So if the water wasn’t really coming out of her faucet or was somehow tampered with to make it appear yellow, then that could be defamation. But simply filming what is spewing out of your tap isn’t likely to amount to defamation.

Meanwhile, she just wants water that isn’t gross.

“My kids were looking at it, like oh, what is that,” she says. “I was kind of shocked.”

The company hasn’t made any public statement or commented thus far on the lawsuit.

Water company sues customer for defamation [AZFamily.com]

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  1. mentok says:

    Yellow water is gross you guys. I wouldn’t drink it.

    Comment testing time!
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    • mentok says:

      The above comment was posted via Safari on my iPhone because I am unable to login using Internet Explorer 8 on my work PC. After clicking the Sign In button, the ‘processing’ never ends.

      The above comment displays well in IE8 except for the gray box around “mentok says:” and the post date covers the “You are currently not logged in. Sign In again to comment” link and the word balloon with the comment count in it.

      Hope that helps!

  2. rohlinmt says:

    I’m sure the water company will allege that the water coming out of the faucet was sullied by bad pipes owned by the defendant on the defendant’s property. Anybody can sue in America. I’m sure that the plan for the water company is just to scare her into settling and make everyone else stay quiet.

  3. llamalluv says:

    Oh, dear. Is Consumerist about to be sued for defamation for reporting upon the lawsuit filed by Johnson Utilities?

  4. Reimu says:

    I wonder if this water company even has a leg to stand on? I know America is good at stupid lawsuits but this seems like it’s too far.
    Maybe they’ll sue facebook for hosting the video too.

  5. KDoggMDF3 says:

    What better way to make your company’s image look worse than to sue one of your paying customers after they actually bring up a legitimate issue, regardless of media utilized to bring it up? Sure does make you look GREAT now there water co….