After a battle in the courts, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has defeated the review website Yelp’s countersuit as he attempts to stop them from deceiving users about pregnancy resource centers.

In September, Paxton announced he would be suing Yelp, alleging that the company added “inaccurate and misleading language” to listings of crisis pregnancy centers. The lawsuit also accused the company of violating Texas’ Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

Yelp countersued and sought a preliminary injunction to block Paxton from further penalizing the company.

During the hearing in the United States District Court of the Northern District of California, Yelp argued that Paxton acted in bad faith when bringing the lawsuit. Yelp also argued that this was an apparent attempt “to score points with his base of voters” since Paxton’s impeachment.

District Judge Trina Thompson stated in her order that while the court “is not convinced that Paxton acted entirely in good faith in bringing this case against Yelp; still, Yelp has not provided enough concrete evidence of his subjective motivations to prove otherwise.”

Thompson denied Yelp’s motion for a preliminary injunction against Paxton and “reluctantly” dismissed the case on procedural grounds. 

“Yelp cannot mislead and deceive the public simply because the company disagrees with our state’s laws,” said Paxton following the motion to dismiss. “I’m pleased that the court agreed with Texas that Yelp’s federal lawsuit was a frivolous attempt to avoid enforcement for misleading consumers.” 

As of publication, Yelp has not responded to a request for comment from Texas Scorecard. However, Yelp told Reuters that they “will continue to press forward to vigorously defend our constitutionally protected free speech rights to provide consumers with access to accurate information.” 

The lawsuit Paxton brought against Yelp will continue. 

Emily Medeiros

Emily graduated from the University of Oklahoma majoring in Journalism. She is excited to use her research and writing skills to report on important issues around Texas.