TWEET OR TWIBEL
The Small-Business Owner's Guide to Advertising Injury

Chapter 6: The High Cost of Advertising Injury Lawsuits
Part 5: What to Do When You're Sued for Social Media Advertising Injuries

There's no magical way to prevent your business from being sued for frivolous reasons. Sometimes people sue to send a message; other times, they're trying to force your hand and make a quick buck. But if you respond to a claim with a strong counterclaim or defense, you increase your chances of having the meritless suit dropped.

Those who pursue unreasonable suits are typically fighting a war of attrition. The idea is to drag out the lawsuit long enough to make the situation financially burdensome enough that you'll be willing to settle just to end it.

When faced with a meritless claim (e.g., a complaint that you committed libel on Facebook even though what you wrote was factually true and didn't hurt the person's reputation), remember to…

  • Answer the complaint swiftly. Your answer should outline all possible defenses and counterclaims.
  • Be quick about handling all the proceedings to prevent the claim from dragging out longer than it has to.
  • Ask your attorney about the possibility of bringing summary proceedings, which can speed up the process if your case requires prompt action and only involves a small number of clear-cut issues.

Before a lawsuit even becomes an issue, though, you'll want to arm yourself with the appropriate financial tools to pay for your legal defense costs and other expenses if the claim goes to trial or is settled out of court. We discuss General Liability Insurance, advertising injury coverage, and other risk mitigating tips in the next chapter.

Next: Chapter 7: Social Media Marketing Tips for Small Business: Cut Your Advertising Injury Exposure

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