Critical Online Reviews Can Carry Legal Risks
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – A Minnesota doctor took offense when a patient’s son posted critical remarks about him on some rate-your-doctor websites. The reviews included a comment by a nurse who purportedly called the physician “a real tool.”
So Dr. David McKee had an unusually aggressive response: He sued the son for defamation.
The Duluth neurologist’s improbable case has advanced all the way to the Minnesota Supreme Court, which is weighing whether the lawsuit should go to trial.
McKee’s lawyer says the doctor’s reputation is at stake.
The case highlights the tension that sometimes develops on websites such as Yelp and Angie’s List when the right to free speech clashes with the rights of doctors, lawyers and other professionals to protect their good names.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved)