Healthcare News & Insights

More doctors sue over bad online reviews

As more people turn to the web to help them make decisions about their healthcare, that means more potential patients will check out online reviews about doctors. And many physicians will do everything they can to protect their reputations on the web. 

In some cases, that includes taking a patient to court because of negative online reviews.

Dr. David McKee of Minnesota recently lost a court battle in which he sued a patient’s son who had written negative comments about McKee on several doctor rating websites.

The negative reviews were related to comments McKee had made to the patient and his family. Though McKee claimed the online reviews hurt his reputation and his business, the court threw out the case on the grounds that the comments were true and therefore not defamatory.

Docs rarely win those cases

McKee isn’t the only doctor who’s gone to court recently because of negative online reviews, says a story in the Boston Globe. According to the Digital Media Project at Harvard University, there have at least seven court cases over the past five years or so related to online reviews of doctors.

Those lawsuits show how difficult it is for doctors to win. In all of those cases, patients either agreed to take down their comments to avoid a suit, or the court threw out the case.

In one of the incidents, a neurosurgery patient posted several negative comments about a surgeon online, including insinuations that the doctor was responsible for creating an unusually high risk of death for patients. But when the surgeon sued, the court threw out the case on the grounds that the patient was engaging in free speech about a public issue. The doctor was ordered to pay $50,000 in legal fees.

Most experts warn doctors against taking legal action because of negative online reviews. In addition to the potential for losing a costly legal battle, they warn that in many cases, filing a suit only brings attention to the patient’s complaints.

On top of that, the majority of doctors believe that online ratings have no impact on their business and don’t believe patients give them much weight when they make health care decisions.

What’s the best way to deal with those ratings? See our earlier post on the most effective ways to respond to negative online reviews.

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Comments

  1. [quote] The negative reviews were related to comments McKee had made to the
    patient and his family. Though McKee claimed the online reviews hurt his
    reputation and his business, the court threw out the case on the
    grounds that the comments were true and therefore not defamatory. [end quote]

    McKee’s lawyer, Marshall Tanick, told the Associated Press that he and McKee plan no further appeals and that they were disappointed with the ruling. “We feel it gives individuals
    undue license to make disparaging and derogatory statements about these people,
    particularly doctors and other licensed professionals, on the Internet without
    much recourse,” Tanick said.

    Tanick told the Star Tribune that the ruling could
    present a slippery slope. “This decision gives individuals a license to
    make derogatory and disparaging statements about doctors, professionals and
    really anyone for that matter on the Internet without much recourse,” he
    said.

    In reply to an e-patients.net article “Minnesota Supreme Court sides with patient
    on social media defamation suit,” Attorney Marilyn Mann said, “I think McKee’s
    lawyer is incorrect. The case turned on standard principles of defamation law
    and doesn’t really break new ground.”

    Jane Kirtley, a professor of media ethics and law at the University of Minnesota School of Journalism, told theStar Tribune that the ruling stems from “an elementary principle of libel
    law.” She said that this isn’t a blank check for people to make false factual
    statements. She said, rather, that it’s “an endorsement that statements of
    opinion are protected under the First Amendment.”

    According to the Duluth News Tribune, Minnesota Newspaper Association attorney Mark Anfinson, who watched the oral arguments before the Supreme Court in September, said that
    the justices made the right decision. Anfinson also told the News Tribune,
    “What this case really exemplifies is not so much legal precepts in libel law,
    but the impact of the Internet on the ability to publish unflattering comments
    about people.”

    Anfinson was also interviewed by Minnesota Lawyer. He said, “Anyone who knew about the
    case, who observed the oral arguments, and who knows something about libel law
    is about as unsurprised with this result as they can be. It’s about as
    perfunctory and routine as the Supreme Court ever gets. It was a completely
    straightforward application of long-settled libel-law rules.” Anfinson
    said the case is more significant for social commentary purposes than for its
    legal analysis, noting that perhaps the justices only accepted the case to fix
    an error of the Court of Appeals.

    Laurion’s attorney, John D. Kelly, said the fact that Laurion’s speech was made online was inconsequential to the ruling, which treated it as a standard defamation case. “It’s almost as if
    things were said around the water cooler or perhaps posted in a letter to the
    editor,” he said. “I think the principles they worked with are
    applicable to statements made irrespective of the medium.”

    Commenting about this case on his own blog, February 8, 2013, Aaron Kelly, internet law & defamation law attorney, said “Thanks to the First Amendment, free speech is the law of that land, and that means being able to communicate our views publicly – no matter how
    offensive.”

    The Mankato Free Press said in February
    2013: “It’s puzzling why McKee’s defamation lawsuit — filed nearly four years
    ago — was still in court. It’s long been established that people may spout any
    opinion they want without fear of being sued . . . It’s unsettling that the Appeals Court
    earlier ruled to allow the suit to continue.”

    Mark A Fischer of Duane Morris LLP, a full-service law firm with more
    than 700 attorneys in 24 offices in the United States and internationally, said on February 11, 2013, “For those who are under criticism, one of the practical consequences of bringing a
    defamation action is that more publicity for the accused statements is almost
    an inevitable result, whether the statements are ultimately found libelous or
    not. In other words, in weighing the pros and cons of initiating a
    lawsuit, all potential defamation and privacy claim plaintiffs should consider
    the rule of Hippocrates applicable to physicians, ‘First do no harm.’”

    In his Technology & Marketing Law Blog, Eric Goldman said on February 4, 2013,
    “I’ve been tracking doctor v. patient lawsuits for online reviews. . . doctors
    usually lose or voluntarily drop these lawsuits. Indeed, with surprising
    frequency, doctors end the lawsuit by writing a check to the defendant for the
    defendant’s attorneys’ fees where the state has a robust anti-SLAPP law.
    Doctors and other healthcare professionals thinking of suing over online
    reviews, take note: you’re likely to lose in court, so legal proceedings should
    be an absolute last-resort option–and even then, they might not be worth
    pursuing.”

    Dan Hinmon, the principal of Hive Strategies, wrote for Health Care Communication, on
    March 21, 2013, “According to the Star Tribune, McKee is now ticked off at the people
    who posted hundreds more negative comments about him after the story went
    viral. Incredulously, the story reports that McKee ‘hasn’t ruled out a second
    lawsuit stemming from these posts.’ Yes, you read that right. After spending ‘at
    least $50,000 in legal fees and another $11,000 to clear his name online after
    the story went viral,’ McKee is considering suing the rest of the people who,
    exercising their right of protected speech, chimed in. I’m speechless.”

  2. McKee V. Laurion says:

    From this blog:
    ” Though McKee claimed the online reviews hurt his reputation and his business, the court threw out the case on the grounds that the comments were true and therefore not defamatory.”

    From the American Health Lawyers Association:
    In this case, the court found the six allegedly defamatory statements were not actionable because the “substance, the gist, the sting” of plaintiff’s version for each of the statements as provided in deposition and defendant’s version essentially carried the same meaning, satisfied the standard for substantial truth, did not show a tendency to harm the plaintiff’s reputation and lower his estimation in the community, or were incapable of conveying a defamatory meaning (e.g., when a nurse told defendant that plaintiff was “a real tool”) based on “how an
    ordinary person understands the language used in the light of surrounding circumstances.”

    From the Business Insurance Blog:
    The Minnesota high court said, for instance, that Dr. McKee’s version of his comment about the intensive care unit was substantially similar to Mr. Laurion’s. “In other words, Dr. McKee’s account of what he said would produce the same effect on the mind of the reader,” the
    court said. “The minor inaccuracies of expression (in the statement) as compared to Dr. McKee’s version of what he said do not give rise to a genuine issue as to falsity.”

    From the Duane Morris Media Blog:
    The doctor said in his deposition that with regard to finding out if Mr. Laurion was alive or
    dead, “I made a jocular comment… to the effect of I had looked for [Kenneth
    Laurion] up there in the intensive care unit and was glad to find that, when he
    wasn’t there, that he had been moved to a regular hospital bed, because you
    only go one of two ways when you leave the intensive care unit; you either have
    improved to the point where you’re someplace like this or you leave because
    you’ve died.” The court said the differences between the two versions of the
    statements about death or transfer by both plaintiff and defendant were so
    minor that there was no falsity in the website postings. In other words, the
    court indicated that the allegation about the statement was true.

    • Court Watch says:

      People who sue for defamation get bad feedback. People who sue for defamation and lose get bad analysis.

      Marshall Tanick of Hellmuth Johnson told the Star Tribune that the ruling could present a slippery slope. “This decision gives individuals a license to make derogatory and disparaging statements about doctors, professionals and really anyone for that matter on the Internet without much recourse,” he said.

      According to the Duluth News Tribune, Minnesota Newspaper Association attorney Mark Anfinson, who watched the oral arguments before the Supreme Court in September, said that the justices made the right decision. Anfinson also told the News
      Tribune, “What this case really exemplifies is not so much legal precepts in
      libel law, but the impact of the Internet on the ability to publish unflattering comments about people.”

      Anfinson was also interviewed by Minnesota Lawyer. He said, “Anyone who knew about the case, who observed the oral arguments, and who knows something about libel law is about as unsurprised with this result as they can be. It’s about as
      perfunctory and routine as the Supreme Court ever gets. It was a completely straightforward application of long-settled libel-law rules.”

      Anfinson said the case is more significant for social commentary purposes than for its
      legal analysis, noting that perhaps the justices only accepted the case to fix
      an error of the Court of Appeals.

      In reply to an e-patients.net article “Minnesota Supreme Court sides with patient
      on social media defamation suit,” Attorney Marilyn Mann said, “I think McKee’s
      lawyer is incorrect. The case turned on standard principles of defamation law
      and doesn’t really break new ground.”

      Jane Kirtley, a professor of media ethics and law at the University of Minnesota School of Journalism, told the Star Tribune that the ruling stems from “an elementary principle of libel law.” She said that this isn’t a blank check for people to make false factual statements. She said, rather, that it’s “an endorsement that statements of
      opinion are protected under the First Amendment.”

  3. Harry Nevus says:

    [quote] Most experts warn doctors against taking legal action because of negative online reviews. In addition to the potential for losing a costly legal battle, they warn that in many cases, filing a suit only brings attention to the patient’s complaints. [end quote]

    This is from an April 4, 2014, Buzzfeed article by Jake Rossen.

    David McKee, M.D., a Duluth, Minn., neurologist, was unaware of the
    Streisand phenomenon at the time he decided to sue Dennis Laurion. Laurion’s
    father, Kenneth, had suffered a stroke in April 2010; McKee was called in to
    assess Kenneth’s condition.

    According to the Laurions, McKee was oblivious to Kenneth’s modesty. “His
    son was right there,” McKee counters. “If he was concerned about the gown, he
    didn’t get out of his chair to tie it.”

    Dennis Laurion consulted with his family to see if his impression of the
    arrogant doctor was real or imagined. He fired off a dozen or more letters to a
    variety of medical institutions, including the hospital’s ombudsman, the
    Minnesota Board of Medical Practice, Medicare, and the American Medical
    Association.

    McKee sued Laurion for defamation. A local Duluth newspaper picked up on the
    story, favoring Laurion’s interpretation of events.

    In April 2011, the judge granted Laurion’s motion for summary judgment,
    ruling his comments were protected free speech. A user on Reddit.com posted the
    newspaper story. Almost overnight, dozens of “reviews” popped up on RateMDs.com
    and other sites with outlandish commentary on McKee, who was referred to as
    “the dickface doctor of Duluth.”

    McKee found no easy way to exit the situation. “You get drawn in,” he says,
    suggesting his lawyer ( * ) nudged him into further action. “It’s throwing good money
    after bad. … I wanted out almost as soon as I got in, and it was always, ‘Well,
    just one more step.’” McKee appealed, and the summary judgment was overturned.
    The case, and the measurable impact of being labeled a “real tool,” was now
    headed for the Minnesota Supreme Court.

    McKee was rated for several years as a top provider in Duluth Superior
    Magazine, but“From now until the end of time, I’ll be the jerk neurologist who
    was rude to a World War II veteran,” the physician says. “I’m stuck with it
    forever.”

    ( * ) Marshall H Tanick

    • Harry Nevus says:

      Is this the article that “favored” Laurion?

      “Patient’s son complains; Duluth doctor sues”
      Duluth News Tribune, Saturday, June, 12, 2010

      A Duluth physician is suing the son of a former patient for publicly criticizing his bedside manner. Dr. David McKee, a neurologist with Northland Neurology and Myology, filed the lawsuit, which was made public Friday, in St. Louis County District Court. McKee alleges that Dennis Laurion of Duluth defamed him and interfered with his business by making false statements to various third parties, including the American Academy of Neurology, the American Neurological Association, two physicians in Duluth, the St. Louis County Public Health and Human Services Advisory Committee and St. Luke hospital, among others.

      Laurion claims that any statements he made about the doctor were true and that he is immune from any liability to the plaintiff. He referred questions to his Duluth attorney, John Kelly.

      McKee is asking for more than $50,000 in damages. The doctor was paged Friday but did not return a call seeking comment. He is being represented by Minneapolis attorney Marshall Tanick, who in a phone interview alleged that Laurion defamed his client in several ways, including posting negative reviews of McKee on various websites. The basis for the lawsuit is the defamatory statements that were made on websites and to other sources, Tanick said. However, by no means does Dr. McKee want to in any way prevent or affect any kind of communications that may be made to the Board of Medical Practice or any other regulatory agencies. The purpose of the
      lawsuit is to prevent defamation being made on the websites and through other
      sources.

      Kenneth Laurion, 85, a Navy combat medic in the Solomon Islands during World War II, suffered a hemorrhagic stroke and spent four days at St. Luke hospital from April 17-21. He recovered from his condition.

      McKee also alleges that the defendant made false statements about him to others including: McKee seemed upset’ that Kenneth Laurion had been transferred from the Intensive Care Unit to a ward room. McKee told the Laurions that he had to spend time finding out if [the patient] had been transferred or died. McKee told the Laurions that 44 percent of hemorrhagic stroke victims die within 30 days. McKee told the patient that he did not need therapy. McKee said that it didn’t matter that the patient gown was hanging from his neck with his backside exposed. McKee blamed the patient for the loss of his time. McKee didn’t treat his patient with dignity.

      Defense attorney Kelly said it was a tense and emotional situation for the Laurion family. They were worried about Dad and the doctor comes along and, from their point of view, of what they saw and what they heard, they felt that the doctor didn’t act appropriately toward the father, Kelly said. So, among other things, they saw fit to report it to the hospital and to the Board of Medical Practice, which they have every right to do under the patient Bill of Rights, and they get sued.

      Kelly said his client did post ratings of McKee on some websites but said he asked to have them removed, and they were. The defense attorney thinks that the lawsuit is without merit. “I think it is an unfortunate incident of someone attempting to punish a person who has spoken out of concern for a family member,” Kelly said.

      According to the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice website, McKee has had no disciplinary action brought against him.

  4. Court Watch says:

    Sam Narisi said, “Most experts warn doctors against taking legal action because of
    negative online reviews. In addition to the potential for losing a costly legal battle, they warn that in many cases, filing a suit only brings attention to the patient’s complaints.”

    Although this is a healthcare business blog, that advice would apply to lawyers and college teachers also. While not writing for that audience, capturing that audiences similar experiences can further make that point here.

    “UW-Whitewater professor sues student over postings”
    By Associated Press

    WHITEWATER, Wis. (AP) — A University of Wisconsin-Whitewater professor is suing a former graduate student who posted online comments and videos that the teacher considers defamatory.

    Anthony Llewellyn took a class last year from communications professor Sally Vogl-Bauer, but the experience didn’t go well, the Janesville Gazette reported (http://bit.ly/1hcjNmn) .

    Llewellyn posted comments on professor-rating sites accusing the teacher of criticizing his academic abilities, grading him unfairly and causing him to fail out of school. He said he spoke with her in April about his concerns, two months before he was told he had failed her class.

    Vogl-Bauer contends the comments amount to defamation, while Llewellyn says his goal was simply to inform the public about how the professor treated him.

    Tim Edwards, the attorney representing Vogl-Bauer, said the comments could be especially damaging to someone in a small professional community. He said he and Vogl-Bauer agree that students should be allowed to express their opinions, “but when you go so far beyond that, into a concerted effort to attack somebody’s reputation because things didn’t go your way, that’s much different.”

    Edwards and Vogl-Bauer asked Llewellyn to take down his online comments and videos. They filed the lawsuit after he refused.

    Llewellyn said it’s important for the videos and comments to stay online so the public can remain informed.

    “I don’t feel I’ve (gone) too far with my videos and comments because everything posted basically communicates exactly how Sally Vogl-Bauer treated me,” Llewellyn said.

    The lawsuit seeks punitive damages and attorney and trial fees. The case is scheduled to go a jury trial in September.

    It’s not clear how successful the lawsuit will be, but a similar case in Minnesota ended with a
    ruling in favor of the person who posted the online rating. In the case (*), a doctor took offense when a patient’s son went on a rate-your-doctor website and called him “a real tool,” slang for stupid or foolish. The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled in January 2013 that the comment wasn’t defamatory because it was an opinion protected by free-speech rights.

    (*) David McKee MD vs Dennis Laurion
    Minnesota Supreme Court Case # A11-1154

    • Voglbauer V Llewellyn says:

      Sally Vogel-Bauer apparently had her pre-trial hearing AUG 20, 2014. Anthony Llewellyn now has three lawyers, Andrew Price, Kate E. Maternowski, and Laura Brenner . Jury trial is scheduled for SEP 15 – SEP 17, 2014, in the Walworth County Judicial Center Courtroom of the Honorable Phillip A Koss.

      Visit http://wcca.wicourts.gov/index.xsl . Click agree.

      On next page enter name = Llewellyn,

      County = Walworth,

      Case Number = 2013CV001140.

      You’ll see suit history and public data about Sally Vogl-Bauer and Anthony Llewellyn.

  5. Content Scraper says:

    Dentist loses suit after former patient criticizes him online

    By Lincoln Graves, KATU News

    A judge decided the critical comments made on review site YELP.com and other sites were free speech.

    “I’m disgusted. I’m actually really disgusted,” said dentist Mo Saleh, who tried to sue his former client, Spencer Bailey, for defamation after finding negative reviews on the Internet. “The reason I’m risking opportunity and risking this negative exposure is because I feel that this is wrong.”

    But a judge threw out the suit before it got very far.

    “When we walked into this courtroom, we didn’t walk on equal footing because of the Anti-SLAPP law,” Saleh said. The “SLAPP” in the Anti-SLAPP law stands for Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation.

    Businesses can sometimes file those suits to quiet criticism. But the Anti-SLAPP law can be a friend to those who are taken to court, giving them free speech protection when they make comments in a public forum and concern a public interest, which a site like YELP seeks to serve.

    “It’s not easy to be sued and dragged into court,” said Jeremiah Ross, the attorney who represented Bailey. “Just as we anticipated, they couldn’t prove their case because it wasn’t a defamatory statement.”

    Still, Saleh may appeal, believing the online criticism was meant to harm him and not simply to inform the public. “I teach my kids to stand up when you’ve been wronged, and I think that’s
    absolutely disgusting what happened today,” he said.

    One of the comments Bailey was accused of making was, “If Saleh finds a cavity, get a second opinion and get it filled by someone else.”

    Saleh was seeking $300,000 in damages.

  6. Content Scraper says:

    Timothy Edwards comments about Ms. Sally Vogl-Bauer’s intentions to welcome criticism but sue defamation cause me to think defamation plaintiff lawyers must use templates for talking to the press.

    Professor Sally Vogl-Bauer’s lawyer, Timothy Edwards released a statement: “Students have a right to express their opinion, but when you go so far beyond that, into a concerted effort to attack somebody’s reputation because things didn’t go your way, that’s much different.”

    “When you make false statements of fact repeatedly about another person with the intent of harming them, that’s over the line,” said Tim Edwards, attorney for UW-Whitewater communications professor Sally Vogl-Bauer. “If you truthfully say, ‘In my experience, this isn’t a good teacher, I didn’t have a good experience, she was late’ and that’s your opinion,
    that’s fair,” Edwards said.

    A Duluth News Tribune article of June 2010 quoted Marshall Tanick, now employed
    by Hellmuth Johnson law firm, who in a phone interview alleged that Laurion
    defamed his client in several ways, including posting negative reviews of McKee
    on various websites. “The basis for the lawsuit is the defamatory statements that were made on websites and to other sources,” Tanick said. “However, by no means does Dr. McKee want to in any way prevent or affect any kind of communications that may be made to the Board of Medical Practice or any other regulatory agencies. The purpose of the lawsuit is to prevent
    defamation being made on the websites and through other sources.”

    Duluth News Tribune, November 10, 2011: “The doctor maintains he was vilified unjustly and
    inaccurately on the Internet and in postings and correspondence to colleagues
    and peers and thinks that Mr. Laurion falsified statements and incidents that
    did not occur,” Minneapolis attorney Marshall Tanick said outside the courtroom after the hearing. “We maintain the case should be submitted to a jury to ensure that Dr. McKee and Mr. Laurion have their day in court so that the jury may determine this important issue.” Tanick told the panel his client is a highly regarded neurologist who has been defamed
    by Laurion’s comments, which appear pervasively on the Internet and falsely
    portray McKee as being insensitive and incompetent.

    From Minneapolis Star Tribune March 25, 2012: McKee’s lawyer, Marshall
    Tanick, said the doctor felt he had no choice but to sue to protect his
    reputation and his medical practice. “It’s like removing graffiti from a
    wall,” said Tanick. He said Laurion distorted the facts — not only on the
    Internet, but in more than a dozen complaint letters to various medical groups.
    “He put words in the doctor’s mouth,” making McKee “sound
    uncaring, unsympathetic or just stupid.”

    Taken from videotaped comments to Minnesota Supreme Court: “He may have been upset at
    how Dr. McKee treated his father. Apparently he was, and he’s entitled to say
    that. He can say that “I’m upset. Doctor McKee did not treat my father well. He
    was insensitive.” He can make statements like that: “He didn’t spend enough time in my opinion.” He can make factual (sic) statements, he can make them on the Internet, he can make them in letters, he can write a letter to the editor, he can stand in front of St. Luke’s Hospital with a placard saying those things if they are opinions . ..”

    From BuzzFeed, 2014: But McKee’s lawyer, Marshall Tanick, of Hellmuth & Johnson,
    says no matter where it was said, defamation is defamation. “The thing that’s
    often misunderstood is that this was not just about free speech, but about
    making actual false statements,” Tanick says. “The problem is today’s
    unfettered opportunity to express opinion, whether or not the substance of
    what’s said is true or not. We need some boundaries.”

    • Doctor Sues says:

      Doctor Sues And Gets A Ham

      He can stand at St. Luke’s with a placard of rebukes.
      He can say “I’m upset.” He can say it till he’s wet.
      He can write some letters to those he thinks his betters.
      He can say it here or there. “I don’t like him anywhere.”

      He can say it in a house. “I don’t like him with a mouse,
      I don’t like him here or there, I don’t like him anywhere.”
      He can say it in a car. He can say it in a tree.
      “I don’t like him in a box, I don’t like him with a fox,
      I don’t like him in a house, I don’t like him with a mouse,
      I don’t like him here or there, I don’t like him anywhere.”

      He can say it in on a train. He can say it in the rain.
      He can say it in the dark. He can say it in the park.
      “I don’t like him in on a train, I don’t like him in the rain,
      I don’t like him in the park, I don’t like him in the rain,
      I don’t like him with a goat, I don’t like him on a boat.”

      He can say it here or there, he can say it anywhere,
      He can speak till numb, even if some should say,
      There should be some awful Hell Toupee.

  7. Voglbauer V Llewellyn says:

    IS A SETTLEMENT IN THE WORKS FOR VOGL-BAUER V. LLEWELLYN?

    Anthony Llewellyn now has three lawyers, Andrew Price, Kate E. Maternowski, and Laura Brenner . Jury trial is still scheduled for SEP 15 – SEP 17, 2014, in the Walworth County Judicial Center Courtroom of the Honorable Phillip A Koss; however, it is hard to find
    any of Anthony Llewellyn’s videos online. IS HE TAKING THE VIDEOS DOWN?

    Sally Vogl-Bauer apparently had her pre-trial hearing AUG 20, 2014. It is no
    longer listed on the pending court docket.

    Visit http://wcca.wicourts.gov/index.xsl . Click agree.

    On next page enter name = Llewellyn,

    County = Walworth,

    Case Number = 2013CV001140.

    You’ll see suit history and public data about Sally Vogl-Bauer and Anthony
    Llewellyn.

    • Gradual Student says:

      VOGL-BAUER V. LLEWELLYN IS CLOSED

      Jury trial is no longer scheduled for SEP 15 – SEP 17, 2014, in the Walworth County Judicial Center Courtroom of the Honorable Phillip A Koss. HAS ANTHONY LLEWELLYN TAKEN THE VIDEOS DOWN?

      Sally Vogl-Bauer apparently had her pre-trial hearing AUG 20, 2014. It is no
      longer listed on the pending court docket. The case status is now shown as
      “Closed.”

      Visit http://wcca.wicourts.gov/index.xsl . Click agree.

      On next page enter name = Llewellyn,

      County = Walworth,

      Case Number = 2013CV001140.

      You’ll see suit history and public data about Sally Vogl-Bauer and Anthony
      Llewellyn.

      Is this a settlement that won’t appear in newspapers?

  8. Gradual Student says:

    As an aside before my post [[ Those lawsuits show how difficult it is for doctors to win. In all of
    those cases, patients either agreed to take down their comments to avoid
    a suit, or the court threw out the case.]] If the defendant takes down their comments to avoid a suit, isn’t that a win for the plaintiff? Still, is it worth the Streisand Effect?

    My post:

    Whether or not Sally Vogl-Bauer settles her lawsuit, another teacher will take her place on the Internet.

    John Nova Lomax, Houstonia Magazine, August 1, 2013

    November 13, 2012, Waller High School English teacher Elizabeth Ethredge was teaching storytelling. By all accounts of the day, the teacher complained that a Cy-Fair ISD student had stolen a computer from her son.

    In one version of events, Ethredge urged her students to contact the miscreant on Facebook and make bogus offers to buy the computer back. In another version, the teacher told her students that she wouldn’t be opposed to their harassing the thief. And in a third version,
    Ethredge gives out the alleged thief’s Facebook information and cellphone number and urges her pupils to put the bandit “on blast” until he coughed up the computer.

    Then in March, students Dylan Wells and Demi Gray, were sent to the principal’s office.

    In Brian Merrell’s office, they told about Ethredge putting her kid’s alleged antagonist “on blast”, spending too much time on her cell, over-sharing personal info, and working on her grad degree during class time. “Multiple students in multiple class periods confirmed”that
    Ethredge had organized a mob of cyber-bullies.

    Ethredge later confessed to telling her students that she “would not be opposed” to them harassing the perp. “But I didn’t tell them they could do it on class time.” On April 3, Ethredge was suspended with pay, and five days later Ethredge was terminated.

    Gray taunted on Facebook. Wells chimed in.

    Ethredge filed suit in Harris County District Court alleging that her former students had defamed her character, libeled her, inflicted emotional distress upon her, subjected her to public hatred and ridicule, and caused her to seek a physician’s care. She hopes that the kids will be forced to pay court costs and actual and exemplary damages, with
    interest.

    Source: http://www.houstoniamag.com/news-and-profiles/people-and-profiles/articles/refresher-course-august-2013

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