United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
AMENDED MEMORANDUM AND ORDER ON DEFENDANT'S
MOTION TO DISMISS
Dennis Saylor, IV United States District Judge.
a dispute concerning reviews of plaintiff Craft Beer Stellar,
LLC (“CBS”) that were anonymously posted on the
website of defendant Glassdoor Inc., glassdoor.com, between
November 2017 and March 2018. CBS has brought suit against
Glassdoor and asserts five counts under federal and
Massachusetts law. Glassdoor has moved to dismiss all counts
pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) for failure to state a
claim. For the reasons stated below, the Court will grant the
motion to dismiss.
otherwise noted, the facts are set forth as alleged in the
first amended complaint.
a franchisor of craft beer stores known as Craft Beer
Cellars. (Am. Compl. ¶¶ 12-13). To acquire a Craft
Beer Cellar, a prospective franchisee enters into an
agreement with CBS and pays CBS a fee. The franchise
agreements generally require the franchisee to keep certain
CBS proprietary information confidential. (Am. Compl.
Inc. operates a website, www.glassdoor.com, where users can
anonymously post comments about their employers. In November
2017, someone identifying himself as an employee of CBS
posted a negative review of the Belmont, Massachusetts Craft
Beer Cellar on glassdoor.com. (Am. Compl. ¶ 36). Over
the next few months, one or more unnamed users identifying
themselves as current (or former) employees of CBS continued
to post negative reviews of the Belmont store. (Am. Compl.
¶ 36-83). Each of the negative reviews mentioned the
co-founder of CBS, Suzanne Schalow.
February 13, 2018, Schalow sent an e-mail to Glassdoor asking
it “for . . . assistance in reviewing . . . six
inappropriate/trolled reviews naming Craft Beer Cellar and
myself, Suzanne Schalow.” (Am. Compl. ¶ 85). (Ex.
following day, February 14, Charlee Colwell, a member of
Glassdoor's “Content & Community Team, ”
responded to Schalow and informed her that Glassdoor had
removed one of the six reviews for its failure to
“meet” the website's “Community
Guidelines.” (Ex. G).
later, on February 21, Schalow e-mailed Colwell to inform her
that the removed review had been “re-posted” and
to ask that the review be removed again. (Ex. G). Colwell
responded to Schalow the following day and told her that the
review would not be removed because it no longer violated the
website's guidelines. (Ex. G).
asserted six claims against Glassdoor in its amended
complaint: (1) violation of the federal Defend Trade Secrets
Act (18 U.S.C. §§ 1836, et seq.); (2)
violation of the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, (18
U.S.C. §§ 1030 et seq.); (3) violation of
the Massachusetts trade secrets statute (Mass. Gen. Laws. Ch.
93, §§ 42 and 42A); (4) violation of the
Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act (Mass. Gen. Laws. Ch.
93A, §§ 2 and 11); (5) aiding and abetting John
Does 1-20 in various contractual breaches, torts, and other
violations; and (6) civil conspiracy.
25, 2018, CBS filed a stipulation of dismissal without
prejudice as to the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act claim.
Glassdoor has moved to dismiss the remaining claims under
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim upon which
relief can be granted.