A moldy apartment, a tweet, and $50,000

amanda-bonnenThis one is a perfect example of the Streisand Effect — a company that has a small problem, they try to hide it, and it explodes!

A woman in Chicago, Amanda Bonnen, was having some problems with her apartment so she sent the following Tweet:

“Who said sleeping in a moldy apartment was bad for you? Horizon realty thinks it’s okay.”

Horizon Realty responded not by looking into the situation, but by suing the woman for more than $50,000.  This is apparently in line with their standard procedures, as TechDirt discovered in the Chicago Sun-Times.  According to Jeffrey Michael, they’re a “sue first, ask questions later kind of an organization”, in an effort to preserve their good reputation.  Really?  You preserve your good reputation by ignoring tenant complaints and suing them?

We haven’t even gotten to the best part yet.  Ms. Bonnen has a grand total of 20 Twitter followers.  Twenty. 2-0.  That’s it.  It’s not like her complaint was being heard by very many people.  Most people don’t read every tweet in their stream anyhow, so maybe 10 or 12 saw it?  Now how many people know about it?  To start with, we have the readers of TechDirt, the Chicago Sun-Times, the Inquisitr, Digg, the Chicago Tribune, the Associated Press and many, many others.

Now Horizon is backpedaling as fast as they can, but they still plan to sue:

“We look forward to presenting our side of this matter before the court and putting the unfounded accusations of a single, former tenant behind us…”

An accusation that virtually no one would have seen if they hadn’ t been so lawsuit-happy.  Oops.

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