A gynecologist in New York filed a million-dollar lawsuit against a one-time patient who posted a negative review about his services on the internet.
The patient, Michelle Levine, visited Dr. Joon Song last year for an annual exam. The problem reportedly started after she got the bill.
“A week later, he billed my insurance company $1,304.32 for the new-patient visit and ultrasound, and I got a bill for $427 that wasn’t covered,” Levine told the New York Post. “The annual was supposed to be free!”
Levine denied that Dr. Song gave her pelvic and breast exams. She also accused his office of concluding that she had pelvic pain, which required an ultrasound.
“When I called his office [to gripe], they were immediately aggressive and said I had come in complaining of pelvic pain,” she added.
According to Levine, she complained to Dr. Song’s office but the issue was not resolved.
In her lengthy review, she complained of “very poor and crooked” business practices, among other issues. She also rated the physician with one star on Facebook.
“I suspect that this doctor gives unnecessary procedure [sic] to a lot of people and then charges the insurance sky high prices and no one knows the difference,” Levine said.
“Everything about my one and only visit here has caused me emotional distress and panic, and now they want me to cough up an extra $500 for services I didn’t even need?”
Dr. Song sued Levine for defamation, libel, and causing emotional distress over the review, which was posted on sites such as Yelp, Zocdoc, and Healthgrades. Levine reportedly took down the review after getting sued, but Dr. Song still seeks $1 million to cover damages and legal fees.
In a statement to CBS2, Dr. Song’s lawyer said that lies pretending to be reviews can inflict serious damage.
“While everyone is entitled to their opinion, outright lies masquerading as reviews can inflict serious damage to a medical practice or small business,” the lawyer said.
But Levine, who has already spent $20,000, is not backing down. She claimed that Dr. Song published her personal information.
“They tried to drag my start-up wine-and-spirits technology business into it … They posted my entire medical record, including notes about my mental health, my bills, my insurance info, my driver’s license, birth date and home address,” Levine explained.
Despite the “nightmare,” Levine does not regret her review. She set up a GoFundMe page titled “Right to Yelp, Right to Privacy” to fund her defense.
“Dr. Joon Song will not settle. I am forced to go through this to the end. He insists that I owe him one million dollars for writing a review based on my experience.
“I have dealt with this in silence. Going public is not ideal for me, but I feel it is my only choice.
“Coming forward is hard for me to do. I never thought I would post this Go Fund Me, but I simply can not afford the cost of defense.
“I want this Go Fund Me to symbolize that people are entitled to their first amendment rights and should not be punished for taking advantage of that right. Exercising your first amendment right should not invalidate a patients right to privacy.”