Benihana Lawsuit Update

Posted by Mark

Just an update on whats going on with the Benihana lawsuit. Back in late April I posted about how I won the lawsuit against Benihana and how I thought it was a great victory since it reinforced the right for us bloggers in Kuwait to state our personal opinions. Well around a month after the victory Benihana appealed the courts decision which is their right to do and we headed to court once again. Except the second time it didn’t go so well.

Yesterday I found out that the court ruled in favor of Benihana and have ordered me to now pay them the sum of KD1,000. The court still hasn’t released their decision for this ruling and I have to wait around 2 weeks to find that out. I of course will be appealing the decision and be heading back to court to defend our right of freedom of expression. Once I have anymore updates will post them here.

If you have no idea what lawsuit I am talking about click [Here]


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98 comments, add your own...


  1. Alharbi says:

    man … im not sure how much the lawyer is costing you , even though its not right thing to do and you should easily win but wouldnt it be cheaper just to pay them?

  2. Qster says:

    GEEEEZ Beniwhatsits GIVE UP ALREADY!!!!!!

  3. salman says:

    Alharbi: paying them will prove that u guilty. 1,000kd is just the start

  4. +_O says:

    it’s funny how the law system works… just when you thought it was over..

    Anyway good luck!

  5. Thyro says:

    Benihana…Seriously? no, seriously? Im beginning to think that that whole whole franchise in addition to whoever holds their license here in Kuwait are not more than a bunch of overgrown frustrated pre-teen baboons.

    Hehe everytime I pass by infront of their store I just get the biggest urge to go in yell and run out, then again I always wanted a dine and dash, it would be funny if a whole bunch of people just went in ate and legged it (wouldnt be a good ideas assuming the waiters would pay out of their pocket perhaps) anyhow..

    Benihana, you people disgust me ^.^

  6. RealisticT says:

    is it simply freedom of expression that you’re defending Mark, or the competitors that pay you generously like Maki? I’m just sayin’

  7. esz says:

    Good luck!

  8. HELLRAISER says:

    This whole incident is ridiculous and goes to show that FOS in the Arabic world is a joke! People need to understand that a blogger’s opinion does not constitutes the general public opinion and I seriously doubt that this incident would impact their business severely. However the relentless pursuit of this law suit is giving both parties exposure be it negative or positive, will benefit both parties.

  9. Lowrider66 says:

    More power to you man..

    Never ate their, never will.. and will surely pass the word.

  10. QABAQ says:

    man this sucks. somebody has to stop Benihana. i think you should sue them back for damages once its all over. i think you should try to make the issue a public opinion that really helps and gets thing straight, sometimes at least.

    all i can say for now is GOODLUCK

  11. Kuwait says:

    JOKE. They lose, appeal and win?

    Of course you should appeal: Win, lose, appeal, win?

    This could be a never ending cycle.

  12. clusterFunk says:

    Probabaly the owners looking for justification on why their business is failing. It might be hard to admit that the concept just isn’t working in Kuwait.. Here’s a throwaway to the owners: Deep fry your menu and use spicy mayo like a redhead uses sunblock

  13. Kuwait says:

    Let the Mike Servo/Benihana jokes resume.

    “Welcome to Benihana – we don’t serve you the menu, we servo you lawsuits”

  14. Mr. Pink says:

    Let Maki & Wasabi pay for the damages, LOL!

  15. ابو محمد says:

    أخوي عندي سؤال كيف استدلوا علي عنوانك لو افترضنا انك تجاهلتهم ماذا كان سيحصل و لا يوجد قانون يجرم النشر الالكتروني القانون يعاني من ثغره وهذا الكل يعرفه فكيف يحاسبوني علي رأيي والله مصيب

  16. MJH says:

    dude, this is ridiculous, lose appeal win appeal lose win win lose appeal win lose? wtf? seems like at this point the benihana dude is just doing this out of spite. at least you are fighting for something Mark, that benihana douche cant say the same. seriously dude Goodluck…

  17. MH says:

    Freedom of speech, my butt. This is shameful to be honest. Alharby, with all respect, paying less and giving up your right is the single worst thing you could do… in my opnion!

    good luck mark

  18. Momo says:

    The next person that tells me that Kuwait is a democracy, I will laugh in their face. Freedom of speech is quickly being removed from this society – no one can say his opinion anymore, especially about the government. I will boycott Benihana for this matter.I can’t help but suspect that the judge was paid under the table.

  19. Ahmad says:

    Go with it till the end Mark we’re all with you

  20. Kim says:

    Kuwait is a democracy,
    Here, I said it. C’mon, laugh in my face…

    Also, good luck Mark kicking their butt!

  21. moe80s says:

    WTH!!!! are u serious?! how come? it’s an opinion!???

  22. Buzfairy says:

    I don’t know what to say, except tough luck :(

    I don’t know if you’ll be able to appeal on this same case, what I know is that you can take it up to the Tamyeez court, which is like the supreme court in Kuwait. You might have some luck there, because 1st degree courts had actually ruled in your favor. Just keep in mind that not all case submissions get accepted to the Tamyeez.

    Have you talked to your lawyer about filing a lawsuit of your own? That might give you some leeway in finding a better verdict for you: “freedom of speech”, “unfair accusation” or “personal opinion” defenses.

    You will have a better chance in winning a new case, than turning the appeals verdict.

    Good luck Mark.

  23. anonz says:

    5000.. 1000.. what do you want benihanna, u knw i havnt ate once there since all this started, now im not going for sure

  24. ab7ag says:

    i think there’s going to be another claim coming your way since this is considered interim compansation. I’m guessing you’re going to be paying more than KD1000 my friend. If you need a new lawyer I’m right across your building;)

  25. fatboy says:

    jesus theyr such pussies, benihana is FINISHED, NO one goes there anymore, theyv got every principle of business wrong, they should just shut down.

  26. Truewords says:

    More reasons to go to Wasabi, Sakura & Maki.

  27. HIA says:

    It seems Benihana is doing some free advertising on your blog, they got you Mark! Their getting main-column advertising for free, now that’s smart! But I bet people are getting a nasty taste in their mouths as soon as they hear their name, I know I do! Motherfathers..

  28. Guss says:

    Can they prove it was you who posted it your blog.

    Did you confess

    John Doe hacked your website for example

  29. me says:

    They are kidding right !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! @@

  30. theZay says:

    Benihana hahahahaHAH!

  31. Neoark25 says:

    Don’t give them one cent, fight hard.

  32. B says:

    Mark, why don’t you start a page where we all sign a petition supporting you?

    We’re all with you!

  33. AndyQ8 says:

    I’m sure it won’t, but IF it goes badly and Mark has to pay, can anyone who works for a bank arrange 5,000KD in coins?
    I’d suggest 5fils. I’m not sure there’s a law against it, but I’m also pretty sure that banks don’t have to accept them trying to deposit that many coins.
    Just a thought…

  34. anonz says:

    fail?? no Benihana,,, epic fail

  35. Jelly Lead says:

    What happens in Benihana, stays in Benihana

  36. p0ach says:

    Mark, tell me how I can help, i’ll do it.

  37. spikz says:

    That’s bad mate. This could be very frustrating. I do hope it gets over soon and the verdict is in favour of you. This is after all a crazy country and anything can happen which adds an element of worry and risk. I do pray and hope you win dude. t.c.

  38. kliffy77 says:

    Find your self a tough lawyer, I say this with full respect of your current one.

  39. Chris says:

    …….

    that’s just pathetic..

    I wish you the best buddy.. Go hit him where it hurts most ..

  40. Ryan says:

    What can we do to support you ?

  41. Sarcastico says:

    /popcorn

  42. deQor8 says:

    That will be one expensive sushi tab. But seriously, this is ridiculous … even a 1KD judgement against you would be insane.

  43. michael says:

    benihana think that by doing this they’re advertising their shit and gaining customers but they’re too dumb to realize not only they’re losing customers, they’re losing people’s respect too. every time i hear about this place, people talk about how dumb it is for suing mark for stating his opinion. mark’s post had a mixture of pros and cons and even if he said that every thing was bad then benihana should try to fix they’re damn restaurant. they’re a business and they have to see what their consumers want in order to gain more customers not try to advertise their crap by causing them problems. why would they sue him if it wasn’t for money? this just shows how cheap they are. i’ve tried the place and honestly it’s so overrated. the prices are quiet good but the food is just not worth it. benihana is not the only restaurant in kuwait. maki, wasabi and many others offer better quality in everything.

    p.s mark please ban them from going onto your website if you can ;p it’s your own website. imagine it like this…they enter the site and a page appears saying benihana…GTFO. lol

  44. YM965 says:

    They seriously know how to hold a grudge

  45. Mohammed says:

    I think the money they asked for is less than what you will have to pay to the lawyer my advice give them the money and close the site temporarely for one month

    • ZeroSystem says:

      If he loses the case he must pay the fees of his lawyer and their lawyer also, they can start another case who knows maybe servo will sue him for emotional stress.

  46. MyBloogle says:

    the ugly benihana monster raises its head once again.

    best of luck to you Mark, you have the thoughts and well-wishes of the entire kuwait blogosphere behind you.

  47. سالم ولد بوسالم says:

    لازم نسوي حمله جباره ضد بانيهانا
    والا اذا انحكم لصالحهم

    باجر كل شركات الانترنت اللي سوينا حملات ضدهم راح يرفعون قضايا ضد المدونين والمعلقين

    العالم يتجه حق مزيد من الحريات
    وربعنا يبون يصكون علينا

    الظاهر ماتعلمو من مصر وليبيا وتونس واليمن وسوريا

    • TweeZ says:

      the golden question is….when did we ever learn from the mistakes of others? We will always be “last minute”.

    • Asmaa says:

      I think they did it for various reasons.. one of it could be that people don’t take these issues lightly in the future, the first win for Mark does say that the freedom of expression is respected, and the second one in their favour is to balance it out, both sides will be given equal footing here.

  48. Mark says:

    Thanks everyone for the support again.
    Right now there is nothing that can be done (I think) to help me out. If there is or if I think of something I’ll be sure to let you all know.

  49. Rima says:

    I wish u the best of luck 

  50. anonz says:

    gl can u sue them back for putting u thru this shit

  51. TweeZ says:

    lol,classic!

  52. sha says:

    i will never eat in binihana

    never give up we are all with you mark

  53. Aidan says:

    FFS. Mike Servo = Mike’s Over

    Good luck Mark. Not that you need it.
    The point that has been raised right from the beginning is that your review wasn’t that bad… It offered compliments and criticisms.

  54. Jack says:

    I hope things are resolved peacefully…

    but truth be said… and to add a contrasting view to the topic….

    You are not ” defending our right of freedom of expression”,

    Your review bashed their business, their livelihood, and then it hides behind “freedom of speech”? When they sue , which they have the freedom to do so, people react negatively towards it? Really?
    They have the RIGHT to do that too you know. They are defending money and effort lost in the business.

    MoreOVER, they didn’t ask for the review in the first place!

    When a person has the right to free speech that person should be RESPONSIBLE for what they do say, its NOT a privilege with NO responsibility thing going on .. A person’s right of free speech and opinion of a PERSONAL business (which is subjective) has INFRINGED on the rights of that OWNER to do business the way they want to and possibly damaged the owner’s livelihood.. while the reviewer of the business and blogger sits at home hiding behind free speech thing… not considering how much effort or money is lost in this, not wanting to be responsible for what he or she said? In my opinion this childish.

    these days, Smear campaigns and insults (not that you did that am just stating a point) are classified under freedom of speech,

    the definition and concept of free speech has been so over stretch from its context .. its ridiculous.

    LOOK at how ZAGAT in the USA does its food reviews in a professional manner… no problems.

    Again, I am not critizing you perosnally, but I’d like my point of view to add color and contrast to this topic’s discussion. My point is just to distinguish between what is and what is not freedom of speech. and I hope any writer considers the pain that his or her article might cause before publishing it be it the net or the newspaper.

    Finaly I really hope things are resolved peacefully and not to escalade the matter.

    All the best! :)

    • Mark says:

      Hey Jack, thanks for your comment even though it’s a different view point.

      But, I do find your response a bit confusing. From what I understood I shouldn’t have reviewed Benihana since they never requested to be reviewed and because my review was seen by them as negative which infringes on the rights of the owner. But, then a few sentences later you mention ZAGAT as a good example although ZAGAT’s reviews can be a lot more harsher than mine with much bigger consequences to the owners and they also don’t seek the approval of a restaurant before they review it.

      The thing is reviews are based on personal opinions and people have the right to state their opinions. That’s freedom of speech.

      • Jack says:

        Thanks for the quick response.. and your big heart…

        Let me clarify if I may.. which I should have …

        1. About Zagat: I meant if you really want to do a review as part of your business/blog … and its a must have .. do it like zagat…

        If we assume that zagat could be a lot harsher .. their review operation is WAY different than your review that you carried out… HOW?

        a) its a survey of people who rate the restaurant .. so not a one man’s subjective point of view .. and more representative of the population…

        b) they let professional and renowned people in the industry chip in with their expert opinion …

        Therefore, they can’t really be hit hard with a law suit since they are in essence doing a poll as their core business.

        ——

        2. Yes people do have the right to state their opinion but it should be a responsible one … as a right it does carry a responsibility with it… and that right should not damage or infringe on another person’s right to run a business how they like it (after all its their private personal one) and make money from it to better their lives.

        Am a business guy .. I know how it can really hurt if a media person bashes my business which is extremely stressful to start up and you have your blood and sweat invested in it … with your money .. and money is very very important to people as you know …

        the media guy will go to sleep while the business owner suffers…

        please re-read what I wrote above ^… as i Just summarized some bits here…

        also… imagine if this tool is used to black-male business owners for goodies.

        All the best.

        • Mark says:

          Well thats one way of doing it but not the only way. If polling would was the only way for reviews then we wouldn’t have Siskel & Ebert for example.

  55. sa says:

    In my opinion, you and anyone else have absulutely the right to voice your opinion. this is called democrasy. Respecting each others opinions is a must and it is not a “favor”. benihana’s reaction is so disturbing and disappointing. as long as the opinion has been voiced with respect then they should’ve accepted the fact. if i were them, i would’ve requested a meeting to know your dislikes and solve it since you are a “customer” anyway.

  56. Stephanie says:

    A wee bit late to the conversation, but, this whole ordeal is so horrifying to read about! Anyways,whatever happened to the case? Did you appeal the verdict? or is the case still going on :-/

    Eitherways, all of this could’ve been rectified by just talking to the blogger. Sometimes people are so thick.

    PS: OPI did the same thing with many beauty bloggers too!:(

  57. Kirt says:

    Sorry about the outcome, Mark. I just read about all this tonight. At least there is some satisfaction in knowing that all of this is perpetually in cyberspace now. How much has that company lost? A LOT more than $4,000. The reason for that loss is theirs. Their action and insanity in suing you will continue to cost them money. They did absolutely the wrong thing. I wish you good luck in everything including your blog. From the USA.

  58. Anonymous says:

    أين ضمير الأمة؟!؟

  59. Mounir says:

    I will NEVER, set foot in any Benihana….ever since I read about Marks ordeal, and I never had an issue with their food, I decided never to set foot in any Benihana. Beyond comprehension that this all happened in the first place. And the fact that the parent company didn’t Servo Mike Servo his termination letter is why the entire Benihana chain should suffer the consequences.

    As a result of this, we have plans in place to make sure customers reviews are heard, and we (my colleagues and I) plan on emailing Mark soon about them.

    All the best Mark and keep them coming!


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