Negative online doctor review backfires
YELP reviewers, beware.
A Manhattan woman who gave one-star reviews on the online marketplace Yelp to a gynecologist has spent nearly $20,000 defending herself against a defamation suit filed by the physician, according to her and court papers.
And the litigation has only just started.
Ms Levine said she found Dr Joon Song of New York Robotic Gynecology & Women's Health online and went to him for a checkup in July, 2017.
"A week later, he billed my insurance company $1,304.32 for the new-patient visit and ultrasound, and I got a bill for $427 that wasn't covered," she said.
"The annual was supposed to be free!"
Ms Levine alleges in court filings that Dr Joon never even gave her a manual pelvic exam, instead simply asking her about menstrual cramps and then performing an ultrasound.
Ms Levine claims that Dr Joon said he gave her pelvic and breast exams, even though he didn't.
"When I called his office [to gripe], they were immediately aggressive and said I had come in complaining of pelvic pain," which required the ultrasound, Ms Levine said, denying she ever told them she had pelvic pain.
"I was so disgusted, I wrote a review on several sites, including Yelp, ZocDoc and Health Grades," she said.
"Very poor and crooked business practice," Ms Levine wrote in the review. "I suspect that this doctor gives unnecessary procedure [sic] to a lot of people and then charges the insurance sky high prices and no one knows the difference.
"Everything about my one and only visit here has caused me emotional distress and panic, and now they want me to cough up an extra $500 for services I didn't even need?"
Two weeks later, she got an email from the doctor's lawyers, telling her she was being sued.
The $1 million suit touts Dr Joon's Yale University training and accuses Ms Levine of false postings and online harassment.
"No reasonable person would believe that the statements made therein were opinion,'' court papers say.
Ms Levine said the court battle has so far cost her close to $20,000.
"They tried to drag my start-up wine-and-spirits technology business into it … They posted my entire medical record, including notes about my mental health, my bills, my insurance info, my driver's license, birth date and home address," she said.
Lawyers for Dr Joon and the clinic did not return messages.
This article originally appeared in the New York Post and was republished with permission.