"To a small business with only a few reviews, claims of food poisoning can be devastating," said Chris Emmins of KwikChex, the company bringing the action on the hotels' behalf. "We have looked at around 100 [of such cases] and there has been no report to the local health authority and we could find no evidence of food poisoning."
KwikChex's lawyers are also looking at dozens of unverified claims of theft or racism.
Reviewers may not be able to remain anonymous for much longer: KwikChex is considering asking the courts to identify those making defamatory comments.
"A legal precedent has already been set regarding disclosure for these type of cases," he said.