What’s Worse Than A Tooth Infection?

Having just endured one, I can’t think of too many things that are more unpleasant. But how about getting sued by the dentist for posting a negative review of her treatment? That’s what happened to Robert Lee recently. Lee went to Dr. Stacey Makhnevich to get treatment for an infected tooth. Before she agreed to treat the tooth, she required Lee to sign a contract that prohibited him from posting negative reviews of her treatment, and stating that she owned the copyright to any such information. Lee claims he was in such pain that he signed the contract without reading it in detail (I recently had a tooth infection and I can totally understand this point. I would have signed anything). When Lee posted a critical review, the dentist started sending invoices for “fines” totaling $100 per day. Lee has responded by filing a class action lawsuit seeking to invalidate the contracts as unethical and illegal. A number of doctors and dentists started using the gag orders because they were unable to compel Web sites to take down critical reviews thanks to the federal Communications Decency Act, which protects the Web sites from liability for third party content. So the solution was to nip the comments in the bud with patient contracts. But that strategy may be short lived. Apparently the company that designed the contract has already agreed to stop using it in the future. But as a general rule, you can never be too careful with dentists.