New Orleans psychologist sues over negative Angie's List comments

Michelle Keahey Mar. 28, 2012, 5:35am

Ervin Knott

NEW ORLEANS - A New Orleans psychologist has filed a lawsuit against a Florida doctor for negative comments posted on the website Angie's List.

John C. Courtney, Psy D., MP filed the lawsuit against Dr. Bartholomew Vereb and Angie's List Inc. on March 9 in federal court in New Orleans.

Dr. Courtney is the Director of the Department of Psychology in Children's Hospital in New Orleans and is also a practicing medical psychologist.

Angie's List is a "word-of-mouth network for consumers looking for a way to find trustworthy companies that perform high-quality work."

According to the lawsuit, Vereb posted review/member comments in June 2009 that referred to Courtney as a "joker" and a "quack."

In December 2011, Courtney discovered the negative comments and contacted Angie's List to have them removed. About two months later Angie's List deleted the comments, stating that it did not allow businesses to report on themselves or competitors.

Vereb is accused of intentionally and maliciously posting false and defamatory comments, which Courtney claims harmed his standing in the medical community.

Angie's List is accused of negligence for failing to follow its own procedures that would have prevented Courtney's damages, for breaching its duty to Courtney, and for acting with reckless disregard for the truth.

The plaintiff is seeking damages for mental pain and suffering, economic loss, loss of earning capacity, injury to his reputation, personal humiliation, embarrassment and mental anguish, lost income, attorney's fees and court costs.

Courtney is represented by Nakisha Ervin-Knott and Justin I. Woods of Gainsburgh, Benjamin, David, Meunier & Warshauer in New Orleans. A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Jay C. Zainey is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:12-cv-00655

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