Doctor sues ex-patient for $1m over negative Yelp review.
A woman in Manhattan is being sued for $1-million after leaving a gynecologist a bad Yelp review. Michelle Levine visited Dr. Joon Song in August for an annual exam- something that’s usually free and covered by most health care providers. She also complained about pain in her abdomen, which prompted Dr. Song to do an ultrasound. Michelle was later billed $1,304.32 for the visit.
“After I got a bill for an ultrasound and a new patient visit, whatever that means, and it was not billed as an annual I wrote a review about it,” she says. Michelle first tried to talk it out with the doctor’s office, but to no avail. So she took to Yelp, Zocdoc, Healthgrades, and even Facebook to leave a poor review of the doctor. Dr. Song responded by suing her for $1-million. Even though she’s since took the reviews down he still wants the money plus legal fees.
So far the suit, which accuses her of defamation, libel, and causing emotional distress, has cost her $20-thousand of her own money. “It’s been kind of a nightmare,” she notes. “I just have this doctor that’s been suing me for a Yelp review and he won’t go away.”
Dr. Song has yet to comment on the record, but his attorney says, “While everyone is entitled to their opinion, outright lies masquerading as reviews can inflict serious damage to a medical practice or small business.”
Michelle doesn’t regret writing the review, despite the messy lawsuit. A rep for Yelp is calling for legislation to protect reviewers and encourages business to resolve issues with reviewers before taking legal action.