Minnesota doctor files defamation lawsuit after finding negative reviews online

October 25, 2012 3:11 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

When a patient's son posted negative, judgemental comments about a doctor online, the Minnesota physician filed a defamation lawsuit against the young man, Dennis Laurion, according to the Leader Telegram.

Dr. David McKee, a neurologist, has been able to advance the case all the way to the Minnesota Supreme Court, where officials are considering whether the lawsuit should go to trial.

While freedom of speech extends to patients' views online, there are certain legal rights that doctors have when it comes to defamation. Today, the consumer's experience can play a much larger role than ever before due to the expansion of the internet.

"Patients now have power to affect their businesses in ways they never had," Eric Goldman, a professor at the Santa Clara University School of Law, told the news source. "[Medical providers are] evolving how to deal with patient feedback, but they're still in the process of learning how to do that."

The suit also deals with a nurse who called the doctor a negative name behind his back. McKee asserts that the nurse does not exist while Laurion does not recall her name but claims she is a real person.

A business's rights against online defamation

Because of the growth of social media and blogging over the last several years, the number of defamation lawsuits has grown, according to the website Reputation Hawk. The Communications Decency Act, in particular, deals with libel lawsuits for both businesses and the common layperson.

One benefit for internet-based companies is that the law states that ISPs are not responsible for the content stored on their servers when the information has been published by their users. For other legal definitions of the Communications Decency Act and litigation support in defamation lawsuits, Arizona companies are urged to contact a Phoenix business attorney.

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