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Removal of Jameda reviews
Everyone’s aware of them these days – portals for physician reviews such as Sanego or Jameda.
They are frequently very helpful for patients and can assist with the selection of a doctor. But for the doctors themselves, when he or she is digitally pilloried – often unjustly – and unlawful comments are made about them online, these portals can quickly turn into a nightmare. A patient can anonymously comment and grade a doctor’s treatment; a negative review and a miserable grade can inflict significant damage to the reputation of that doctor.
What exactly is an unlawful comment?
A physician does not have to accept an illegtimate comment on a review portal. It is especially unlawful if the author disseminates untruthful factual claims.
Dishonest factual claims are not the only kind of unlawful comments. In fact, expressions of opinion are considered to be unlawful and can be forbidden by the affected doctor, when they constitute abusive criticism and primarily target to disparage the person and are not focused on the actual encounter.
Not participating is impossible…
Doctors are not able to simply “deregister” from review portals to avoid the danger of untruthful factual claims or abusive criticism. Because of the right of choice in Germany, every doctor is subjected to free competition, a part of which is the option for patients to evaluate their physicians on publicly accessible review portals (see BGH, decision from September 23, 2014, Az. VI ZR 358/13).
…which is why it is even more important to defend oneself
The doctor has fundamental claims against the author of the unlawful comment because of the damage to his individual rights. But it is not that easy to put these claims into practice because the reviews are usually done anonymously. Frequently, the only option available to the doctor is to use the more or less blunt sword of the review portal’s comments function and to respond online to the negative review. Another alternative is to contact the operator of the portal.
Once the operator of the portal has been made aware, they are liable for the unlawful comments.
By operating an online portal, providing storage space to the reviewers and facilitating the access to the website over the internet, operators such as Sanego or Jameda are engaging in willful and proximate cause and are thus liable as the host provider for the reviews of their users, insofar as these are unlawful.
Upon receipt of the complaint, the review is usually removed for the time being and the author of the review is contacted by the portal operator and asked to respond to the complaint. If the author does not respond to the request for comment, the negative review will generally remain offline and the nightmare is over.
However, if the author responds and confirms having been treated by the doctor and sticks to the negative review, the review portal will usually resubmit the review to the portal. As far as the portal operator is concerned, it has fulfilled its obligation to examine the case. If the portal operator resubmits an actual unlawful comment, perhaps because it believes that this is merely an expression of opinion and not an abusive criticism, the affected doctor can now seek injunctive relief against the operator of the portal.
LHR accomplishes the deletion from the Jameda platform of a negative physician’s review in front of the District Court Munich I
A patient had graded a doctor on the Jameda platform with an overall grade of 6 and also awarded the grade of 6 to the individual categories of “treatment”, “information” and “relationship of trust”.
After Jameda had failed to remove the review despite our demand to do so, we filed suit for our client at the competent District Court Munich I. Upon receiving the complaint, Jameda had initially requested that the suit be dropped. Within the deadline for a statement of defense, Jameda then submitted a cease and desist order and completely removed the review.
The review portal warning letter
Because of the legal responsibility of the portal operator in light of having been notified about the unlawful comment, the person affected by the unlawful comment can now assert the right to ask for an injunction through a warning letter. If subsequently a declaration of cease and desist that sufficiently fulfills the demands of the jurisprudence is not submitted, the existing claim can be judicially enforced in a summary proceeding or even in a standard principal proceeding – including the claim to reimbursement of the incurred attorney expenses.
We support doctors and clinics in cases of unlawful Jameda reviews
There are those who, because of the demanding and special demands placed upon them by their professional activity, have a particular need to counter the danger of attacks on their good reputation through the use of an effective defense strategy. In the healthcare sector, these are doctors, medical centers or clinics; in the financial sector, they are banks, financial services providers and any other companies active in the capital markets. These are among our clients in the area of reputation management.
Attorneys protect your good reputation and obtain compensation for damages
Doctors and clinics can effectively defend themselves against unjustified Jameda review and demand deletions and potentially even compensation for damages. By using appropriate means, you actively protect yourself and
- prevent the continued unlawful infringement on your rights,
- will be compensated for damages incurred,
- show that you can defend yourself against future attacks.
The injuring party is not only liable for the attorney fees but will generally also have to pay an appropriate compensation.
- LHR protects you against attacks upon your good reputation as a doctor or clinic
- LHR defends your claims following legal violations
- LHR locates the guilty parties and confronts them with the consequences of their actions both in judicial and extra-judicial proceedings
- LHR ensures that there is a suitable compensation
Dr. Niklas Haberkamm, LLM oec., the founder of the firm and partner: “Protect the good reputation of your business on the internet. It is a precious asset that must be maintained and protected in equal measure.”
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