Weight-loss company sues customer for posting negative review to Better Business Bureau


Can someone be compelled to testify in a civil suit to which they are not a party?

If not, I suggest we all go post negative Roca reviews, in the form of “I am not a customer, but I heard that…”

After all, we haven’t signed contracts with them, so they really have no standing to sue.


Roca Labs makes the “Non Surgical Gastric Bypass” (which one expert says is mostly industrial food thickeners) with terms-of-sale that prohibit complaining if you get sick, or don’t like the product, or feel like you were ripped off.

It’s like fracking for your colon.


Roca asserts “breach of contract” and “defamation per se,” because under the terms of the company’s fine-print, any customer complaint is automatically defamatory.

Coincidentally, I’ve got some fine print that says that if Roca Labs sues any of their customers, the owners are guilty of murder. Not that they signed it, but I’m sure they’ll be cool with it, since it’s not like any of their customers actually signed their “agreement,” either…


Roca Labs, meet Barbra Streisand (effect).


Better yet… borrow a spoonful from a friend. Taste it, analyze it, whatever. You’re not a customer but now you have firsthand experience.


I just signed a lease that states if I say anything negative against the landlord, I can be fined up to $10,000. Are these sorts of things getting more common? And are they enforceable? We just assumed they weren’t and signed. Dumb us, maybe.

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They aren’t, but you’ll probably spend more than $10,000 proving that point in court.

Previously on the Boing:

Nonsense. Represent yourself. Dress nice, speak reasonably. What’s the worst that can happen? You lose?

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Opportunity cost is still there. How many hours are you prepared to spend on research, starting with foundational knowledge of civil litigation?

Oh, and lest we forget, judges really aren’t fans of self-representation.

Oh, and the worst that can happen? Being ordered to pay the “fine” as stipulated in the contract, and the plaintiff’s legal costs. You seem to be very sanguine about that possibility.

Forgive this question if it’s born of excessive ignorance. I’m slightly more sauced than I usually am when I step into discussions about court procedures (I know how to google but this requires some degree of finesse and I’m not great at finesse right now) …

Is this type of suit the sort that you can demand a jury? I’m fairly certain that any reasonably relatable person could sell this to a jury in terms of “that poor person. Not even rich enough to afford an attorney but here they are being harassed by some evil snake oil sellers.”

Hm. Hadn’t thought about that angle.

Scum like this, we can make BoingBoing show up first on search engines if we help the editors keep shining the light on these cockroaches.

There, I have compared Roca Labs to cockroaches, and insulted the roach. St. Gulik would like a word with me now, I fear.

Oh yeah, I wasn’t trying to say this was a dupe or anything. Just further conversation/stories about it if people were interested.

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