A Waterloo man has lost his small claims case against a Lincoln woman over negative reviews she posted online about his business.

Wayne Fritz alleged Ashley Robinson had slandered him and his company, Hollywood Star Photo Booth, in reviews on three websites, and sought $3,500 in the case filed in Lancaster County Court in September.

He said he had a perfect 5-star rating before Robinson weighed in.

Lancaster County Court Judge Matt Acton dismissed his case, finding that Fritz had failed to adduce any evidence that Robinson's internet posts resulted in any monetary loss to him or his business.

In cases such as this, the plaintiff has the burden of proof. And, the judge said, an award of damages would be purely speculative.

Since there was no evidence of damages, Acton said, he need not determine if the posts were false. But he did find that the posts weren't prompted by actual malice.

Fritz appealed the ruling. But last week, District Judge Andrew Jacobsen affirmed the decision.

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Lori Pilger is a public safety reporter.

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