Doctor Suing Patients Over Negative Yelp Reviews

Dr. Jay Pensler, a plastic surgeon in Chicago, isn’t happy with services such as Yelp. The doctor, unhappy about negative reviews his former patients posted on Yelp and Citysearch, is suing at least three of them for defamation. In court papers, Pensler, who calls himself a “well respected plastic surgeon,” says the women have “embarked on a malicious campaign to undermine and destroy” his personal reputation.

On the review sites, many women claiming to be former patients offered descriptive and disturbing accounts of their encounters with the Chicago surgeon. “The end result after my surgery was that I had Frankenstein breasts with the nipples placed too high,” one woman writing under the name “rinasa” posted on Citysearch in June 2009. “A year after my surgery I asked around, did research and interviewed 4 other plastic surgeons for revision surgery because there was no way I was going to let Pensler butcher me again.”

On Yelp, another woman said her breasts looked like something out of a horror film. “I have very dark, discolored scars ALL OVER MY BREAST………literally,” a woman wrote under the name “Melissa H” in August. “My breast doesn’t even look like breast anymore, it’s just that scary!!!! And my areolas look like a drawstring purse.”

One of the women’s lawyers feels that the suits will be dismissed, but not until after each woman racks up thousands’ of dollars in legal fees. The good doctor and his legal team swear that photographic evidence has been doctored somehow and cannot possibly be true. According to Fox News, he was able to uncover their identities by having a subpoena served on the review sites, forcing them to turn over IP addresses and other identifying information.

What do you think? Should anyone be “able” to sue another person due to a bad review left on a site such as Yelp?