SAN FRANCISCO – A federal appeals court says online review site Yelp's star rating system does not make it liable for reviews posted on the site.
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The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the star ratings are based on Yelp users' selections and are not created by the website. Under federal law, Yelp is not liable for content from its users.
The ruling Monday affirmed a lower court decision rejecting a lawsuit by Douglas Kimzey. He is the owner of a Washington state plumbing business that the court said received a negative review on Yelp in 2011.
The 9th Circuit also dismissed Kimzey's claim that Yelp could be held liable for distributing reviews to search engines.
Kimzey served as his own attorney and plans to appeal to a larger court panel.