Yvonne Wong, a dentist in California is suing a husband and wife that left her a negative review on Yelp. Judge William Elfving of the Santa Clara County Superior Court allowed Wong to continue pursuing the lawsuit after the couple. The judge ruled that Wong had shown a “a probability of success on the merits.” The couple that left the negative review are Tai Jing and Jia Ma.
However the couple may appeal the decision that Elfving made.
Wong believes that she was defamed by the complaint on Yelp about the treatment of their son. The couple’s son was treated by the dentist when he was 4 years old and he felt lightheaded after receiving a dose of laughing gas and received a filling with mercury contained in it. Wong stated that the complaint on Yelp left her emotional distress.
Wong was previously considering suing Yelp directly, but the review website is protected by the Communications Decency Act. The comments left by the site are not the responsibility of the website itself.
This isn’t the first case where a doctor decided to sue a former patient for leaving a negative review on Yelp. This past January, Dr. Steven Biegel filed a lawsuit against Christopher Norberg. Norberg left Biegel a negative review because he felt his bill was too unfair.
The moral of the story here is that if you leave a doctor a negative review on Yelp, take extreme precaution. Try to avoid making extremely harsh claims and make sure that the review is politically correct.