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A Florida man faces a $15,000 defamation lawsuit for leaving negative feedback on an eBay seller.

Michael Steadman, a 49-year-old welding business owner, bought a $44 employee time clock via the web's favourite tat bazaar in November 2008, Florida Today reports.

According to Steadman, the clock arrived in bits and did not work, so he returned it to Elliot Miller, the Miami Beach lawyer who sold it.

Steadman also left feedback claiming Miller was a "bad seller" with the "ethics of a used car salesman".

Miller responded with a lawsuit in February last year, demanding $15,000 for damage to his eBay reputation and insisting the clock was "plainly offered for sale with the following language: 'We can not give you any guarantees and must offer it on an as-is, where-is basis only'".

However, the ad also said it had been tested to "confirm" it would print a time card. Steadman got his $44 back after a complaint to PayPal.

He has already spent $7,000 on legal fees defending the case, which was filed after the refund was made. "I made the mistake of leaving my honest opinion online," he said.

"The comments are there to let other buyers know who they're dealing with."

Miller's current feedback rating is 98.8 per cent positive. The case is ongoing.

In 2008, a British man was threatened with a libel case for negative feedback he left on a camera seller's account. ®

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