In response to recent queries about the current status of the Prestigious Pets lawsuit in Dallas County, Texas, I have prepared this resource page that lists Public Citizen’s posts and updates to the case. There are many stories written about the Prestigious Pets lawsuit but most are secondary sources of reporting. Paul Alan Levy of Public Citizen is at the very heart of the case as he is currently lead counsel representing defendants, Robert and Michelle Duchouquette against Prestigious Pets and its owner, Kalle McWhorter.
For people who don’t know what the Prestigious Pets lawsuit is all about, in short, it is about a Texas-based pet-sitting business (Prestigious Pets) who objected to one of its customers (Michelle Duchouquette) negative and unflattering Yelp review about their experience. Prestigious Pets felt that what Michelle wrote was unfair, untrue, and a violation of the non-disparagement clause in their agreement. Michelle stood by her review.
A local lawyer, Tom Fleischer, sent a cease-and-desist letter to the Duchouquettes. The Duchouqettes did not acquiesce to the demand to take down the Yelp review but Michelle modified the Yelp review to accommodate some points made in Fleischer’s letter. Prestigious Pets then filed a $6,700 lawsuit in a Texas small claims court but it was ultimately dropped after the Duchouqettes went public with their story. However, instead of cutting their losses and letting the matter go, Kalle McWhorter, owner of Prestigious Pets, with the assistance of Texas Attorney Bill Richmond, came forward to file a much larger and accusatory lawsuit naming HERSELF and Prestigious Pets as plaintiffs against the Duchouqettes. She and Prestigious Pets asked for up to $1 million in this lawsuit. Paul Alan Levy of Public Citizen subsequently took on the case and became lead counsel for the Duchouquettes. The case was ultimately dismissed by the judge. Despite Mr. Levy’s attempts to settle the matter with Mr. Richmond following the court’s dismissal, Kalle McWhorter and Prestigious Pets have chosen to not settle the matter which has forced the case forward with several matters still unresolved.
I have followed the case closely. I have personally read nearly every court document filed in Case #DC-16-03561: Kalle McWhorter and Prestigious Pets LLC (Plaintiffs) v. Robert and Michelle Duchouquette. There is a LOT of information in the case documents that the general news media have NOT reported on. At some point, I will comment on what I found that will be of interest to those following this case. For now, I refer people to read Paul Alan Levy’s own posts of the case thus far. Although it appears the Duchouquettes appear to have won, there is still uncertainty in this case because an appeal is possible.
Most recent articles listed first. (This page will be periodically updated as the story unfolds and reported.)
From Public Citizen: Consumer Law & Policy Blog
September 27, 2016: Time for Prestigious Pets to Pay the Piper
February 26, 2016: Self-help against non-disparagement clauses?
In addition to Paul Alan Levy’s updates, I recommend Cristin Severance’s CBS-DFW TV news reports as they are one of the original reporting sources and directly interview Michelle Duchouquette and Paul Alan Levy.
February 17, 2016: Yelp Review Lands Couple In Court
Follow Defiantly on Twitter at http://twitter.com/defiantlynet or the Defiantly Facebook Fan Page at http://facebook.com/defiantly.net. Subscribe by Email to the Defiantly Blog in the Blue Box in the Upper Right Corner.