Dentist Must Pay $80K in Yelp Review Case

Be careful what you sue for. Especially if you sue for defamation. California dentist Yvonne Wong sued Yelp.com and a patient’s parent who posted a negative review on Yelp.com. In Wong’s Yelp review case, first Yelp won a dismissal. Now the patient’s parent who wrote the review has won too. And Wong has to pay over $80,000 in attorney fees and costs to Yelp and the patient, reports mediapost.com. More and more people are turning to online reviews from sites like Yelp.com. A favorable review from Yelp can make a business boom. But a negative review can draw blood. A negative review can wreck a business, or destroy a professional’s reputation. So Yelp reviews are a double-edged sword. And it looks like a new industry has arisen to deal with online slash jobs. The Wong case made blog headlines back in November 2010, when a California appellate court dismissed Yelp.com from Wong’s lawsuit. That court ruled Yelp had protection from Dr. Wong’s lawsuit, because Yelp was publicizing information about mercury in dental amalgams–an issue of public interest. California’s “anti-SLAPP” laws protect defendants against defamation lawsuits that are brought to punish, deter or silence public debate on topics of public interest . And unlike ordinary libel and slander lawsuits, California anti-Slapp laws allow a court to impose attorney fees and costs against the losing party. Now Santa Clara Superior Court Judge Peter Kirwan has granted summary judgment to the patient’s parent who wrote the original post, and also ordered Wong to pay all the defendants’ attorney fees , reports DrBicuspid.com. So in the end, the Yelp review case hit Dr. Yvonne Wong in her pocketbook nerve. Ouch. Related Resources: The Yelp Question: Are Free Online Reviews Good? (FindLaw’s Free Enterprise) How to Avoid Being Defamed By Your Customers (FindLaw’s Free Enterprise) Libel and Slander (FindLaw) ISP Liability for the Acts of Its Customers (FindLaw) Immunity for Publishers Under Communications Decency Act (Citizens Media Law Project)

Continue reading here:
Dentist Must Pay $80K in Yelp Review Case

Twitter Follow

Follow us on

Contact Us

ATTORNEY ADVERTISEMENT:  This communication or portions thereof may be considered "advertising" as defined by Section 6157(c) of the California Business and Professions Code or within the jurisdiction in which you are viewing this.  Nothing in the discussion above is intended to be a representation or guarantee about the outcome of any legal proceeding in which you may be involved.  By providing the information above in this format, Michel & Associates is not soliciting you to hire it to handle a specific legal matter you may currently have or be anticipating commencing in the future.  Notwithstanding the discussion above, you should not act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content on this site without seeking appropriate legal advice regarding your particular circumstances from an attorney licensed to practice law.  This communication is informational only and does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Michel & Associates.  Michel & Associates's attorneys are licensed to practice in California, Texas, and the District of Columbia.