Bad Reviews Compel Dentist to Sue 5 Patients in 4 Years

Yelp now adds warnings to pages of businesses that retaliate
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 27, 2016 5:48 PM CDT
Bad Reviews Compel Dentist to Sue 5 Patients in 4 Years

Yelp has just issued its third ever consumer alert, this one about a dentist in Manhattan who has sued five patients since 2012 for posting negative reviews, reports BuzFeed. Nima Dayani has asked for anywhere between $50,000 and $100,000 in damages, so Yelp is warning consumers that Dayani's business is "issuing questionable legal threats against reviewers" and that reviewers "have a First Amendment right to express their opinions on Yelp." Dayani appears to have backed off the lawsuits where patients agreed to remove their negative reviews. In one pending court case, a woman accused him in her review of being unable to diagnose her problem after a two-hour-plus visit. Dayani says that's untrue and that such claims aren't just negative but defamatory.

"I got hurt. You will get hurt," he claims the woman told him by phone, because she had been scolded for being gone so long by her boss, reports the New York Daily News. Yelp issued its first alert in May after a Texas pet sitting company sued a customer who violated its "gag" clause, which prevented her from speaking ill of the business; a Florida moving and storage company was issued the second alert in June after it sued a customer for defamation. Buzzfeed reports that both cases are ongoing, and notes that the alerts are being rolled out while Congress considers two bills that could protect consumers from being sued for online reviews. (That pet sitter says its business is now a "shell of its former success" and is seeking $1 million in damages.)

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