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ELECTRONICALLY FILED - 2018 Dec 17 12:00 PM - HORRY - COMMON PLEAS - CASE#2018CP2607062

STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA ) IN THE FIFTEENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT


) COURT OF COMMON PLEAS
COUNTY OF HORRY ) CIVIL ACTION No. 2018-CP-26-

High Hook, LLC d/b/a Buoys on )


the Boulevard & Weldon Boyd, )
)
Plaintiffs, )
-vs- ) Summons to Complaint
)
) (Jury Trial Demanded)
Doreen Gale-Alfano, )
)
Defendant. )
___________________________________ )

TO THE DEFENDANT ABOVE-NAMED:


YOU ARE HEREBY SUMMONED and required to answer the Plaintiffs’ Complaint in
this action, a copy of which is herewith served upon you, and to serve a copy of your Answer to
said Plaintiffs’ Complaint on the subscriber at his office at 628A Sea Mountain Highway North
Myrtle Beach, SC 29582 within thirty (30) days after service hereof, exclusive of the day of
service hereof AND IF YOU FAIL to answer the Plaintiffs’ Complaint within the time aforesaid,
the Plaintiffs in this action will apply to the Court for the relief demanded in the Plaintiffs’
Complaint.

Wright, Worley, Pope, Ekster & Moss, PLLC


Attorneys for the Plaintiffs

s/Kenneth R. Moss
Kenneth R. Moss, SCB # 15520
Laura A. Hunter, SCB # 103410
628A Sea Mountain Highway
North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina 29582
Tel: (843) 281-9901 / Fax: (843) 281-9903
KennethMoss@wwpemlaw.com
LauraHunter@wwpemlaw.com

December 14, 2018

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Wright, Worley, Pope, Ekster & Moss, PLLC
File No. SC-8278-001
ELECTRONICALLY FILED - 2018 Dec 17 12:00 PM - HORRY - COMMON PLEAS - CASE#2018CP2607062
STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA ) IN THE FIFTEENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
) COURT OF COMMON PLEAS
COUNTY OF HORRY ) CIVIL ACTION No. 2018-CP-26-

High Hook, LLC d/b/a Buoys on )


the Boulevard & Weldon Boyd, )
)
Plaintiffs, )
-vs- ) Complaint
)
) (Jury Trial Demanded)
Doreen Gale-Alfano, )
)
Defendant. )
___________________________________ )

Now comes the Plaintiffs, High Hook, LLC d/b/a Buoys on the Boulevard (hereinafter

referred to as “Buoys”) and Weldon Boyd (hereinafter “Boyd”)(hereinafter Bouys and Boyd

collectively referred to as “Plaintiffs”), by and through their undersigned counsel, and

complaining of the Defendant Doreen Gale-Alfana (hereinafter referred to as “Defendant”) and

would show this Honorable Court:

JURISDICTION AND VENUE


1. High Hook, LLC d/b/a Buoys on the Boulevard is a limited liability company organized

in the State of South Carolina that regularly transacts business and provides services in

Horry County, South Carolina.

2. Boyd is a citizen and resident of Horry County, South Carolina.

3. Upon information and belief, Defendant is currently a citizen and resident of Pinellas

County, Florida.

4. Upon information and belief, Defendant, at all relevant times herein, was a citizen and

resident of Horry County, South Carolina.

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ELECTRONICALLY FILED - 2018 Dec 17 12:00 PM - HORRY - COMMON PLEAS - CASE#2018CP2607062
5. This Honorable Court has personal jurisdiction over the parties to this Civil Action,

including by and through S.C. Code §36-2-803, subject matter jurisdiction over the issues

hereto, and venue for this action is proper in Horry County, South Carolina.

GENERAL ALLEGATIONS OF FACT


6. All allegations of fact made previously are repeated as if set forth here verbatim.

7. On or about March 2018, Boyd purchased the restaurant business formally known as

“Buoys Beach Bar & Grille” (the purchase of which is hereafter referred to as “Sale

Transaction”).

8. After the Sale Transaction, the business name was changed to “Buoys on the Boulevard.”

9. Prior to the Sale Transaction, the previous owner of the restaurant disbursed coupons to

potential customers for “Lunch or Dinner for 2 Up to $30.00,” the coupon of which

clearly stated that it was associated with the “Grand Strand Dining Group Family of

Restaurants,” including “Buoys Beach Bar & Grille” (hereinafter referred to as the

“Coupon”).

10. The Plaintiffs were and are not affiliated with, owner of, or part of “Grand Strand Dining

Group Family of Restaurants” or “Buoys Beach Bar & Grille.”

11. On or about October 31, 2018, Defendant came to Plaintiffs’ business with a gentleman

and ordered drinks.

12. Defendant then presented the Coupon in an attempt to order food, at which point

Plaintiffs’ employees explained that the restaurant was under new ownership, that it was

not the same entity, and that they could not honor the Coupon.

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File No. SC-8278-001
ELECTRONICALLY FILED - 2018 Dec 17 12:00 PM - HORRY - COMMON PLEAS - CASE#2018CP2607062
13. Plaintiffs’ employee offered to not charge for the drinks they had already ordered as a

good faith effort to satisfy their customer even though Plaintiffs had no obligation to do

so.

14. As Defendant was still not satisfied after speaking with her server and the head server,

Plaintiffs’ manager spoke with Defendant wherein he further explained the change of

ownership.

15. Defendant responded to Plaintiffs’ manager stating that if they did not honor the Coupon

she would destroy their reputation.

16. Plaintiffs’ employees again offered to provide their drinks for free; however, Defendant

replied she did not want their offer and stated that she would “…destroy you on social

media.”

17. Plaintiffs’ employees informed Defendant that she could use the Coupon at another local

restaurant as stated on the Coupon.

18. Defendant and the gentleman she came with left without receiving or eating any food at

Buoys and checked into another local restaurant approximately seven (7) minutes later on

Facebook.

19. On or about November 1, 2018, Defendant falsely posted on Buoy’s Facebook page a one

star review stating “Awful food….found a worm in my sushi. Also had a fast crawling

bug on the wall. The Junga game is a germ carrier. Go and enjoy if you don’t care cuz the

new owner doesn’t at all.”

20. Upon information and belief, Defendant has also spoken similar untruths regarding

Plaintiffs to other customers and potential customers.

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21. Plaintiffs have suffered damages related to its reputation as a result and, upon information

and belief, Defendant’s comments have caused a decrease in Plaintiffs’ profits.

FOR A FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION – DEFAMATION


(LIBEL)

22. All allegations of fact made previously are repeated as if set forth here verbatim.

23. Upon information and belief, Defendant knowingly wrote false statements asserting

Plaintiffs and Plaintiffs’ agents have engaged in professional misconduct and negligence

in their restaurant operations and provided those statements to third parties by and

through social media wherein any user can access and view.

24. The written allegations of the Plaintiffs were defamatory and written with actual malice.

25. Upon information and belief, the unsubstantiated, written allegations by the Defendant

were false and made with the expectation and intention by the Defendant that such

allegations would: harm Plaintiffs’ reputations, deter customers from going or returning

to Buoys, lower Plaintiffs in the estimation of the community, decrease Plaintiffs’ profits,

and deter third persons from associating or dealing with the Plaintiffs or Plaintiffs’

agents.

26. Upon information and belief, as a result of Defendant’s libel, Plaintiffs have been

specially harmed and damages have been incurred, including but not limited to, actual

and future damage to reputation.

27. Plaintiffs are informed and believe that they are entitled to recover its consequential,

nominal, actual, and special damages, costs, attorney fees, and punitive damages from

Defendant upon a finding of libel.

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FOR A SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION – DEFAMATION
(LIBEL PER SE)
28. All allegations of fact made previously are repeated as if set forth here verbatim.

29. Upon information and belief, Defendant knowingly wrote false statements asserting

Plaintiffs are unfit in their business to provide food, customer service, and a sanitary

environment for its customers, and provided those statements to third parties by and

through social media wherein any user can access and view.

30. The written allegations that Plaintiffs are unfit for their business were defamatory and

written with actual malice.

31. Upon information and belief, the unsubstantiated, written allegations by the Defendant

were false and made with the expectation and intention by the Defendant that such

allegations would: harm Plaintiffs’ reputations, deter customers from going or returning

to Buoys, lower Plaintiffs in the estimation of the community, decrease Plaintiffs’ profits,

and deter third persons from associating or dealing with the Plaintiffs or Plaintiffs’

agents.

32. Upon information and belief, as a result of Defendant’s libel per se, Plaintiffs have been

specially harmed and damages have been incurred, including but not limited to, actual

and future damage to reputation.

33. Plaintiffs are informed and believe that they are entitled to recover its consequential,

nominal, actual, and special damages, costs, attorney fees, and punitive damages from

Defendants, jointly and severally, upon a finding of libel per se.

FOR A THIRD CAUSE OF ACTION – DEFAMATION


(SLANDER)

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File No. SC-8278-001
ELECTRONICALLY FILED - 2018 Dec 17 12:00 PM - HORRY - COMMON PLEAS - CASE#2018CP2607062
34. All allegations of fact made previously are repeated as if set forth here verbatim.

35. Upon information and belief, Defendant has knowingly spoken false or reckless

allegations asserting Plaintiffs have engaged in professional misconduct and negligence

in their restaurant operations to third parties.

36. Upon information and belief, the allegations of professional misconduct and negligence

of the Plaintiffs were defamatory and spoken with actual malice.

37. Upon information and belief, the unsubstantiated allegations by the Defendant of

professional misconduct and negligence by the Plaintiffs were false and made with the

expectation and intention by the Defendant that such allegations would: harm Plaintiffs’

reputations, deter customers from going or returning to Buoys, lower Plaintiffs in the

estimation of the community, decrease Plaintiffs’ profits, and deter third persons from

associating or dealing with the Plaintiffs or Plaintiffs’ agents.

38. Upon information and belief, as a result of Defendant’s slander, Plaintiffs have been

specially harmed and damages have been incurred, including but not limited to, actual

and future damage to reputation.

39. Plaintiffs are informed and believe that they are entitled to recover their consequential,

nominal, actual, and special damages, costs, attorney fees, and punitive damages from

Defendant upon a finding of slander.

FOR A FOURTH CAUSE OF ACTION – DEFAMATION


(SLANDER PER SE)
40. All allegations of fact made previously are repeated as if set forth here verbatim.

41. Upon information and belief, Defendant has knowingly spoken false or reckless

allegations asserting Plaintiffs are unfit for their business and profession to third parties.

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File No. SC-8278-001
ELECTRONICALLY FILED - 2018 Dec 17 12:00 PM - HORRY - COMMON PLEAS - CASE#2018CP2607062
42. Upon information and belief, the allegations of Plaintiffs’ unfitness for their business and

profession were defamatory and spoken with actual malice.

43. Upon information and belief, the unsubstantiated allegations by the Defendant that

Plaintiffs are unfit for their business and profession were false and made with the

expectation and intention by the Defendants that such allegations would: harm Plaintiffs’

reputations, deter customers from going or returning to Buoys, lower Plaintiffs in the

estimation of the community, decrease Plaintiffs’ profits, and deter third persons from

associating or dealing with the Plaintiffs or Plaintiffs’ agents.

44. Upon information and belief, as a result of Defendant’s slander per se, Plaintiffs have

been specially harmed and damages have been incurred, including but not limited to,

actual and future damage to reputation.

45. Plaintiffs are informed and believe that they are entitled to recover their consequential,

nominal, actual, and special damages, costs, attorney fees, and punitive damages from

Defendant upon a finding of slander per se.

FOR A FIFTH CAUSE OF ACTION


(INJURIOUS FALSEHOOD)
46. All allegations of fact made previously are repeated as if set forth here verbatim.

47. Upon information and belief, by falsely alleging professional misconduct and negligence

by the Plaintiffs the Defendant committed the tort of injurious falsehood against

Plaintiffs, intending to cause proximate and consequent economic damage to Plaintiffs.

48. Upon information and belief, the Defendant’s conduct has caused the Plaintiffs to suffer

proximate and special damages as will be more fully set forth during the trial of this

action.

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49. The Plaintiffs are entitled to an inquiry by the Court in to the underlying facts and

circumstances and to judgment against the Defendant, in such amount and upon such

terms that will fully compensate the Plaintiffs for nominal, actual, consequential, special,

and punitive damages together with prejudgment interests on the amount determined.

FOR A SIXTH CLAIM FOR RELIEF AND MOTION FOR


PRELIMINARY AND PERMANENT INJUNCTION

50. All allegations of fact made previously are repeated as if set forth here verbatim.

51. Plaintiffs contacted Facebook and requested that the defamatory comments posted by

Defendant be removed; however, Facebook refused to do so.

52. Plaintiffs have no adequate remedy at law for its damages of which cannot be adequately

and accurately valued.

53. Plaintiffs will continue to suffer irreparable harm, damage, and injury unless the

Defendant is compelled to remove the defamatory comments from Facebook.

54. Upon information and belief, Plaintiffs are entitled to a preliminary and permanent

injunction of this Court compelling Defendant to remove the defamatory comments from

Facebook and to refrain from any further defamation.

55. Plaintiffs will be irreparably harmed in the absence of injunctive relief.

56. A balancing of the equities favors Plaintiffs’ request for injunctive relief.

57. Plaintiffs are entitled to an Order awarding preliminary and permanent injunctive relief,

as well as attorney’s fees and costs.

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ELECTRONICALLY FILED - 2018 Dec 17 12:00 PM - HORRY - COMMON PLEAS - CASE#2018CP2607062
PRAYER FOR RELIEF
WHEREFORE, having fully set forth his Complaint against the Defendant, the Plaintiffs

pray for the following relief:

A. That a jury be impaneled to decide all disputed issues of fact;

B. That Plaintiffs have and recover judgment against the Defendant in such amounts and

upon such terms as will fully and fairly compensate Plaintiffs for their nominal, actual,

general and consequential damages as will be proven during the trial of this action;

C. Schedule a hearing for the granting of a Preliminary Injunction compelling Defendant to

remove the defamatory comments from Facebook and to refrain from any further

defamation;

D. Upon a final hearing, grant a Permanent Injunction compelling Defendant to remove the

defamatory comments from Facebook and to refrain from any further defamation;

E. That Plaintiffs have and recover judgment against the Defendant for pre-judgment

interest;

F. That Plaintiffs have and recover judgment against the Defendant for the costs and

reasonable attorneys’ fees incurred by Plaintiffs in this action;

G. That Plaintiffs have and recover judgment against the Defendant for punitive damages as

found appropriate by the Court and trier of fact; and

H. For such other and further relief as this Court deems just and proper.

{Signature Page to Follow}

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File No. SC-8278-001
ELECTRONICALLY FILED - 2018 Dec 17 12:00 PM - HORRY - COMMON PLEAS - CASE#2018CP2607062
Respectfully submitted.
Wright, Worley, Pope, Ekster & Moss, PLLC
Attorneys for the Plaintiff

s/Kenneth R. Moss
Kenneth R. Moss, S.C. Bar No. 15520
Laura A. Hunter, S.C. Bar No. 103410
628A Sea Mountain Highway
North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina 29582
Tel: (843) 281-9901 / Fax: (843) 281-9903
KennethMoss@wwpemlaw.com
LauraHunter@wwpemlaw.com

December 14, 2018

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File No. SC-8278-001