Dallas ERs To Google: Who Really Wrote Those Bad Reviews?

Two related, freestanding emergency rooms in the Dallas area want to force Google to reveal the identities of web-site commenters who gave the ERs negative reviews on the tech behemoth’s Google Reviews site.

In a joint petition filed in Dallas County District Court, Highland Park Emergency Center LLC and Preston Hollow Emergency Room LLC say they’re seeking “to investigate potential claims for defamation, business disparagement, and tortious interference with prospective relations against individuals … who have posted false one-star reviews of Highland Park ER and Preston Hollow ER on Google Reviews.”

Matt Rinaldi, general counsel for the ERs, told D CEO Healthcare that “we recently discovered evidence that one of our competitors hired a contractor to post fake reviews for our facilities in an attempt to mislead the public. We are attempting to gather evidence regarding the source of certain reviews that may have come from this competitor to determine the extent of the issue.”

The court filing says that “if the reviewers were either a patient or guardian of a patient at Highland Park ER or Preston Hollow ER and the reviewers posted truthful reviews, then petitioners have no action to pursue. However, if the reviewers were neither patients nor guardians of a patient (which appears to be the case) and instead posted a false review on behalf of a third party to defame and disparage petitioners’ business, then petitioners have legitimate claims to pursue.”

The ERs are seeking to depose Google officials to learn the identities of 22 commenters as well as the “metadata” underlying the poor reviews. California-based Google didn’t respond immediately to a request for comment.

Posted in News.
  • Jason Brown

    They are not the subject of fake reviews. The reviews do not fit the criteria of fake reviews. They reviews are spread out over the course of a 2 year period. Most fake reviews are posted during the same time frame, i.e. several reviews within a 2 week period. Fake reviewers typically use images on the internet, celebs, real people, mug shots, deceased people and stock photos. None of the negative reviews fit that pattern. The reviews are from real people too, I was able to track them down on Facebook. While I agree that fake reviews is out of control, this is not the case here.

    • Robert Phelan

      We have absolute proof of the fake reviews.

    • Genie Hill Ramirez

      I think this free standing ER which I went to one night with pneumonia very ill is rude and condescending. I am a Senior, drove myself up to ER, could hardly walk. Was alone. I have 2 insurances; 1 being Medicare and BCBS ppo secondary and was refused service. Was told Medicare not accepted!! ???? I had to sit down before I could walk back outside as was short of breath. I worked at UTSWMC and was a retiree. Rudeness personified is what I encountered. I left totally shocked at the coldness and obvious rejection because $$$$ its all about money with this ER. Some of the bad post may be valid??? Who knows.

  • Amanda Brummitt

    Will be very curious to see the outcome of this case. I appreciate the information reviews can provide. As a consumer, I certainly use them. As someone in the healthcare industry, I hate that the reviews only share one side of the alleged story and healthcare providers are unable to authenticate the reviews and are limited on defending themselves by privacy laws. I don’t know the answer, but there has to be a better system.

  • orthomama

    Matt Rinaldi – General Council for the ER’s – is a TX State Representative. His other job is that of a lawyer actively promoting the interests of private equity investors in healthcare – most recently with Dykema. Any citizen of Texas who has posted a negative review should be concerned that Rep. Rinaldi’s statements threaten freedom of speech. His present “other job” presents a great big huge conflict of interest. Someone needs to run him out of office.