“A Marin County cosmetic surgeon who filed a defamation suit against an online reviewer was ordered to pay nearly $20,000 in attorney’s fees after a judge dismissed the case "with prejudice in its entirety."
Dr. Kimberly Henry of Greenbrae was also told to pay a $2,000 award to the defendant’s lawyer for the "public interest benefit" of his work on the case.
The order was issued this week by Marin Superior Court Judge Roy Chernus, who tossed out Henry’s lawsuit against her former patient, Deidra Carson.
"(Henry) was clearly trying to penalize Defendant’s fundamental right of freedom of speech under the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States," Chernus wrote.
Henry, commenting on the outcome of the case, said the country’s free speech law means "you can say whatever you want, even if it’s not true."
"You can’t fight it," she said Thursday. "There’s nothing to protect you."
Henry filed the lawsuit in May 2010 after Carson posted negative comments about Henry’s care at Yelp.com, a website for consumer reviews. The lawsuit sought more than $2 million in damages on claims of libel and defamation, invasion of privacy and interference with prospective economic advantage…”
Wow, this is a stinging rebuke of the Medical Justice approach. All the more reason to provide a meaningful redress process that is fair to both sides.
Colin Rule is CEO of Resourceful Internet Solutions, Inc. ("RIS"), home of Mediate.com, MediateUniversity.com, Arbitrate.com, CaseloadManager.com and a number of additional leading online dispute resolution initiatives. From 2017 to 2020, Colin was Vice President for Online Dispute Resolution at Tyler Technologies. Tyler acquired Modria.com, an ODR provider that Colin co-founded, in 2017. Previously, from 2003 to 2011, Colin was Director of Online Dispute Resolution for eBay and PayPal. Further, Colin co-founded Online Resolution in 1999, one of the first online dispute resolution (ODR) providers, and served as its CEO and President. Colin also worked for several years with the National Institute for Dispute Resolution in Washington, D.C. and the Consensus Building Institute in Cambridge, MA.
Colin is the author of Online Dispute Resolution for Business, published by Jossey-Bass in September 2002, and co-author of The New Handshake: Online Dispute Resolution and the Future of Consumer Protection, published by the ABA in 2017. Colin received the first Frank Sander Award for Innovation in ADR from the American Bar Association in 2020, and the Mary Parker Follett Award from the Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR) in 2013. Colin holds a Master’s degree from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in conflict resolution and technology, a graduate certificate in dispute resolution from UMass-Boston, a B.A. from Haverford College, and Colin served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Eritrea from 1995-1997. You can read many of Colin's articles and see some of his talks at colinrule.com/writing.