A defamation lawsuit filed by an Ohio plastic surgeon that is slated to go to trial early next year could have far-reaching consequences for disputes between doctors and their patients over online reviews about the quality of medical care, according to legal experts.
Dr. Bahman Guyuron, former chairman of the department of plastic surgery at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, sued Marisa User in 2015 over anonymous reviews she had posted on the cosmetic-surgery website RealSelf and other sites where patients swap information about doctors.
Ms. User, who lives in Chicago, wrote on the site that she went to Dr. Guyuron for surgery to alleviate nasal congestion and for minor cosmetic work to her nose. After two procedures, Ms. User wrote in 2013, her breathing problems were worse and her nose was less attractive, leaving her with “confidence that has been destroyed.”