August 31, 2012
“Dentist Sues Patient For $300,000 For Bad Online Review”
Dan Tilkin, KATU News and KATU Staff
LAKE OSWEGO, Oregon – A Lake Oswego dentist is suing his former patient because the patient posted negative reviews about him on the Internet.
Dr. Mo Saleh wants $300,000, saying his patient, Spencer Bailey, harmed his reputation. But Bailey said he shouldn’t pay the price for telling the truth.
Bailey now has a lawyer and an expensive court battle ahead of him after his fallout with Dr. Saleh who works at Optima Dental in Lake Oswego.
Bailey suspected he was getting questionable care. “I had never had a cavity before I set food in his office,” he said. “He told me the day that I saw him that I had 10 or so cavities, which threw me for a loop – I was nervous that I had some other health problem.”
Bailey posted a negative review on the website Yelp. He said three weeks later Saleh demanded Bailey take down the posting or be sued. Bailey said he removed it immediately.
“In hindsight it didn’t matter because, even though I took down the opinion online, I’m still right here,” he said.
Doctor Saleh declined to speak to KATU News.
Dr. Saleh is seeking $300,000 from Bailey for lost profits, emotional distress and damage to his reputation.
“The insinuation that this negative opinion, one of many, cost him $100,000 a week in lost business, I think it is a stretch,” Bailey said.
Bailey’s lawyer said that Yelp and other websites are protected from being sued and can’t be held liable for one person’s opinion.
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