New York physician sues anonymous Healthgrades poster for $1M, alleging sabotage

A New York physician filed a $1 million John Doe lawsuit in federal court alleging an anonymous competitor attempted to sabotage her practice by posting a negative review of her on Healthgrades, according to WestFair Communications.

Here are four things to know:

1. In June 2017, an anonymous poster under the name "Upper Marlboro, MD" posted a negative review of Lynne Perry-Bottinger, MD, a cardiologist at New Rochelle, N.Y.-based Clinical and Interventional Cardiology.

"Dr. Bottinger is one of the most unprofessional, ignorant, healthcare providers I have had the misfortune of dealing with. I have been in the medical profession 20 years, and thankfully never have encountered the like [sic] of her. The only reason for 1 star is to satisfy the system. Did not deserve that," the anonymous review reads.

2. According to her lawsuit, Dr. Perry-Bottinger, 57, claimed the negative review was written by a "disgruntled, competing medical professional, healthcare provider" and "not a patient," despite the fact the ratings website reportedly maintains policies to certify reviewers have had contact with the medical practice and are not competitors, according the the lawsuit. She also claimed the negative review has left her at risk of "losing patients and insurance providers," and that some patients have already canceled scheduled appointments with her, the report states.

3. The lawsuit accused the John Doe figure of false advertising, libel, unfair competition and tortious interference. The lawsuit also demanded the anonymous figure be barred from publishing disparaging statements about Dr. Perry-Bottinger, delete the previous review and pay her $1 million in damages.

4. Healthgrades, which was not named in the lawsuit, has reportedly refused to identify the reviewer without a subpoena, according to the report. 

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