There’s Nothing to Protect You

Novo Justice Blog by Colin Rule

“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.

                        author

Colin Rule

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,… MORE >

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