Palm Coast Travel Sues Customer And A Blogger

Travel blogger Elliott is not having a good year. First Homeland Security showed up on his doorstep with a subpoena demanding he name his sources, and now a travel agency is suing him for his reporting about their unauthorized sale of travel insurance.

Based on official sources, an early version of his post said that the company was being scrutinized for selling insurance without a license. Then, within 24 hours, he posted new information from an official source that said the company, and others like it, were only being looked at for selling unauthorized insurance. From the complaint:

Elliott included among his reporting recent regulatory investigations of customer complaints regarding Prime Travel Protection and Jerry Watson. Elliott’s reporting included publication of false information regarding Palm Coast, which has and will continue to damage Palm Coast’s business unless it is properly remedied.

Among the statements Elliott published were falsehoods that stated that Palm Coast had been ordered to cease doing business by the State of Florida. No such order exists, and therefore that report was false.

Further, Elliott, when purporting to “clarify” his deliberately false statement regarding the State of Florida’s investigation of travel insurance, did not fully remedy the false impression he fostered regarding Palm Coast’s role.

Elliott’s falsehoods were directed at, among other aspects of Palm Coast’s business, its reputation in the trade or industry of travel. Moreover, Elliott did not properly correct, clarify, or retract his falsehoods, despite proper notice.

That wasn’t fast enough, and the clarification, which appeared on the post itself, wasn’t clear enough for Palm Coast Travel. They’re suing Elliott, along with a customer who complained on Elliott’s blog about his troubles getting a refund from Palm Coast Travel.

Palm Coast Travel also blames the customer for reducing the company’s BBB rating from an A- to a B+.

Palm Coast Travel sues a customer — and me [Elliott]
Palm Coast Travel vs Christopher J. Eliooy and Peter Lay (PDF)