A Baltimore doctor who operates a skin care clinic in Baltimore County, Maryland has filed a defamation lawsuit seeking compensatory damages in excess of $75,000 and punitive damages in the amount of $1 million against a former patient who wrote a negative review of him and his clinic and posted it on Yelp.
At the conclusion of a hearing on May 7, 2015, a Baltimore judge granted the doctor’s request for a temporary restraining order that orders the former patient to remove all online posts regarding the doctor and his clinic, and further preventing the patient from posting online anything regarding the doctor or his clinic (“ORDERED that upon actual notice of this Order, Tamie J Manaco Shall Remove from ciculation [sic] any internet posting she has made regarding Dr. Carr or Carr Medical; ORDERED that Tammie J. Manaco is enjoined from publishing any other statements regarding Dr. Carr or Carr Medical.“).
The patient had gone to the doctor’s skin care clinic on April 1, 2015 for a facial treatment and a massage. According to the doctor’s lawsuit, the patient arrived twenty minutes late for her appointment and complained about having to wait in a treatment room after agreeing to an abbreviated treatment time. The doctor alleges that his employee offered to stay late for the patient’s treatment but the patient left the clinic.
The doctor’s lawsuit reportedly alleges that the patient had sent him an email complaining about her experience at the clinic and advising the doctor of her intention to post about her experience at the clinic on social media.
The patient reportedly posted online comments to the effect that the doctor was a “scam artist,” that his practice was “unprofessional,” and that his clinic’s bathroom was “filthy.” The patient allegedly posted false allegations that the doctor’s clinic was understaffed and that the doctor had failed to “show up for work” on the day of the patient’s appointment, and she allegedly failed to note in her review that she had appeared for her appointment late after rescheduling her appointment at the last minute, and that she had been refunded the $40 that she had paid for her appointment, according to the doctor’s lawsuit.
In seeking the temporary restraining order, the doctor alleged that his clinic suffered a significant reduction in its business after the Yelp review appeared (the defendant’s review was one of only two reviews for the clinic, which has been open for one and a half years, that appeared on Yelp). The doctor’s lawsuit alleges that a significant part of the clinic’s business results from Yelp and that the reduction in the number of visitors to its website and patients to the clinic since the defendant’s negative/false Yelp review appeared represents an immediate, substantial and irreparable harm to his business for which he is entitled to the issuance of a temporary restraining order against the defendant.
Source Carr, et al. v. Monaco, Circuit Court for Baltimore County, Case No. 03-C-15-004927.
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