Patient can sue dentist over intimidation for bad Yelp reviews

A New York court has dismissed a dentist's request for the dismissal of a lawsuit filed by a former patient in response to threats of a lawsuit from the dentist after the patient posted negative reviews on Yelp and DoctorBase, according to an article at ARS Technica.

An unresolved billing dispute between Stacy Makhnevich, DDS, and patient Robert Allen Lee compelled Lee to post complaints about the situation, despite signing a form prior to treatment stating that he would not disparage her on the Internet or other broadcast media.

Dr. Makhnevich threatened to sue Lee. With the help of the Public Citizen Litigation Group, Lee filed a lawsuit of his own in December 2011. Dr. Makhnevich asked Judge Paul Crotty to dismiss the case but was soundly rebuffed. The judge described her arguments as "ridiculous," the article noted.

Dr. Makhnevich contended that no controversy existed because she had never actually filed the lawsuit against Lee.

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