When Michelle Levine visited Dr. Joon Song of Robotic Gynecology & Women’s Health for a regular checkup, he not only allegedly performed an incomplete examination but had her insurance billed for $1,304.32—of which Levine had to front $427 out of pocket. According to The Daily Dot, her negative reviews on Yelp, ZocDoc and Health Grades led to an email from the clinic’s lawyer—informing her of a $1 million lawsuit being waged against her for defamation and online harassment.
"At first, I was in disbelief," she told ABC30. "That's not defamatory. Everything I wrote is true."
Levine has already paid $20,000 in litigation fees to deal with this fiasco. While she expected the visit to be covered under her insurance, Song’s practice not only charged her but overcharged her, for a checkup as routine as hers was supposed to be. Additionally, Levine claims Song didn’t even exam her pelvis or her breasts—which was included in the exorbitant bill—and was merely asked if she had any pains before performing an ultrasound. She later called to ask about the bill and was told that contrary to her belief, Song did, in fact, perform these exams.
"He told me that I would be getting an ultrasound," she said. "I thought that was a little odd because I said I was there for an annual. I just wanted to help people. I wrote it with the best intention of telling people look this is what happened to me. Don't go here."
“I was so disgusted, I wrote a review on several sites, including Yelp, ZocDoc and Health Grades,” she said. As far as online reviews go, Levine’s contain no offensive or derogatory language, but one can see why Song would take legal action to take them down. “Very poor and crooked business practice,” she wrote. “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.” She also added that her visit “caused emotional distress and panic,” and that Song gave her a “false diagnosis.”
“It’s been kind of a nightmare,” she told ABC13. “I just have this doctor that’s been suing me for a Yelp review and he won’t go away.”
While you might think that posting a critical review on Yelp is par for the course, legal, and a completely protected course of action—you’d be wrong. A Yelp representative told ABC30 that while it’s uncommon for businesses to sue their customers for negative reviews, only a few states—such as California and Texas—have legislation in place to protect customers in those situations. Unfortunately for Levine, New York does not.