Waitress sued by law firm over critical online reviews

The woman, who is being sued for US$100,000 to US$200,000, detailed her experience and warned people not to hire the law firm.

“And they came to my house and into my room to talk to me when I was sleeping in my underwear.”

That’s what Lan Cai, a 20-year-old waitress, recounted in a post on Facebook warning people to stay away from the Tuan A. Khuu & Associates law firm. Now, she’s being sued by the Houston outfit in a libel suit seeking between $100,000 and $200,000 in damages.

Cai, who works six days a week to fund her nursing studies at the Houston Community College, hired the firm after she got into a major accident. She broke two bones in her lower back after a drunk driver and another car hit her while she was driving home from work one late night.

It didn’t take long for Cai, however, to dump Tuan A. Khuu, hire another law firm and feel the need to warn others not to “waste” their time with the firm.

Tuan A. Khuu alleges that what Cai wrote online has many “half-truths” which is why they are suing for defamation, a report from the Houston Press said.

The firm claims Cai’s mother told them to go into her room, which lawyer Keith Nguyen did, afterwards claiming he did not know she was sleeping in her underwear.

In a post to the Facebook Group called Vietnamese Americans in Houston, a repost of Cai's review by a Richmond resident, Tuan A. Khuu is said to not have advised Cai which doctor she needed to go to, as was required, days after the incident.

“I was in a lot of pain. Not only that, they didn't know where the hell my car was!” the review reads, before going into the bedroom incident and saying that this was “super unprofessional”.

Cai also wrote that she asked Tuan A. Khuu for a release letter without interest but it took the firm a week to give her one.

“Not ONLY that, they also put a LIEN on all 3 insurances including my own. I called them, and they told me they were only charging the fees for 2 days. I said that was fine and told them to put it in writing because I needed it, but they kept intentionally ignoring me,” the review said.
“I came in the office to meet with my previous attorney, but [Nguyen] literally ran off,” it added.

Nguyen told the Houston Press that he was on his way out when Cai went to see him, but that he explained why there were liens on her insurance.

The attorney also told the publication that he “doesn’t feel bad at all” about the lawsuit.

“I feel sorry for her, because again, I gave her plenty of opportunities to retract and delete her post and she refused. She was proud: 'I've got it on Facebook. I've got it on Yelp,' with no remorse,” he said.

In an email, Nguyen told Cai, “It has come to my attention that you have posted some dispariging [sic] words on your Facebook account. ...If you do not remove the post from Facebook and any other social media sites, my office will have no choice but to file suit.”

However, Nguyen also told the Houston Press that they “don’t mind if someone writes a bad review, as long as it’s true.” And there isn’t a dearth of bad reviews of the firm.

“Duped and filthy legal services. They trap you in their plan and dupe you out for their own goods. Stay away to protect yourself and your family,” Han from Richardson, Texas said of the firm, the publication noted.

“They like to delay responses and make excuses for not returning calls. Incompetent and unreliable are the words I would use to describe their staff,” Kevin from Austin said.

“I went in for a 'free consultation' and it became a decision I would soon regret,” Charlie from Houston wrote.

Cai said that she plans to take a semester off with all that is happening at the moment.

If she loses the lawsuit, she said she will probably have to drop out.

Nguyen said that the lawsuit is “not ruining someone's career chances” and that Cai and others “need to learn that there are consequences for their actions.”

Recent articles & video

Allens welcomes five new partners

Tech and IP stars join up with Allen & Overy

National Justice Project principal solicitor: 'We need to speak truth to power'

Employment expert returns to Macpherson Kelley

In-house legal team recognised in US resort dev awards

Australasian Lawyer opens entries for 5-Star Employers of Choice

Most Read Articles

New report reveals key trends in global corporate legal departments in 2024

K&L Gates lures JWS M&A partner

Brisbane BTR project kicks off with Ashurst's help

Nine promoted to partner at HSF's Australia branch