A Wilson County, Tennessee woman is being sued by a medical facility for a review she wrote on Yelp about a doctor.
Kelly Beavers faces a $25,000 lawsuit for her negative review regarding a Middle Tennessee doctor she took her father to.
The lawsuit accuses Beavers of defamation and libel for a Yelp post she made about Kaveer Nandigam of Nandigam Neurology.
Beavers took her 67-year-old father to Nandigam Neurology for dizziness and memory loss, which may have bee early signs of dementia. She said her interaction with Dr. Nandigam seemed fine at first, but the doctor threw a temper tantrum and slammed his clipboard when he found out she was recording the appointment with her cellphone.
“Sometimes we all have things we forget, so that’s why I record every doctor’s visit. I want to make sure that I’m doing everything right,” she explained. “He literally snapped and demanded my phone.”
After her encounter, Beavers went home and wrote a Yelp review about her experience.
Her Yelp review said, “This “Dr’s” behavior today was totally unprofessional and unethical to put it mildly. I will be reporting him to the State of TN Medical Review Board and be filing a formal complaint. How this guy is in business is beyond me. Since when did they start allowing Doctors, to throw a complete temper tantrum in front of Patients and slam things when they get upset? He does not belong in the medical field at all.”
The suit claims the review contained false, disparaging and misleading statements and demands for Beavers to remove the post.
Beavers said that she doesn’t regret leaving the review despite the legal action taken against her.
“Just in shock, I can’t believe it,” Beavers said. “They just don’t want any negative reviews and they don’t want people to talk about or give a bad review.”
Ken Paulson of the Free Speech Center, a nonpartisan educational institution that teaches how the First Amendment works in society, said there always has to be a true effort to differentiate between between stating an opinion or fact on platforms like Yelp.
“Don’t state things you cannot back up. It’s okay to say you didn’t like this pizza or the anchovies were terrible because that’s opinion, but you can’t say they can’t make this pizza without washing their hands. It’s a difference in expressing an opinion and damaging a business or person,” Paulson said.
Beavers said she plans to hire a lawyer to fight the lawsuit.