A federal lawsuit has been filed against eBay by a Massachusetts couple, holding the e-commerce giant responsible for subjecting them to harassment wherein former employees sent cockroaches, a funeral wreath, and live spiders to the victim’s home.
In a 93-page complaint filed in Boston federal court, David and Ina Steiner, who run EcommerceBytes, a popular online blog focused on the e-commerce industry, said that eBay engaged in a systematic campaign to torture, threaten, stalk and intimidate them into stifling their reporting on the Silicon Valley company.
According to the lawsuit, the plaintiffs are seeking unspecified damages for vandalism, intentional infliction of emotional distress, stalking, and racketeering.
Presented as evidence were screenshots of text messages between former eBay employees conspiring to target Ina Steiner by saying, “She needs to be stopped.” and ‘burn her to the ground.”
Several former eBay employees were charged for their roles in the harassment campaign last June. Five have already pleaded guilty to conspiracy to tamper with witnesses and committing cyberstalking, but their sentences are still pending.
During a press conference, Rosemary Scapicchio, the Steiners’ lawyer, alleged that eBay’s top executives coordinated the attack against her clients.
‘The directives, in this case, to stop the Steiners and intimidate them came from the top management of eBay,’ Scapicchio said.