Twitter Libel Lawsuit Dismissed
PORTLAND, Ore. (CN) - A plastic surgeon who sued an Oregon woman for blogging and Tweeting about his disciplinary record agreed to dismiss his $1 million defamation lawsuit.
Dr. Jerry Darm, who runs an "aesthetic medical spa" in Tigard, Ore., and whose commercials are standard cable TV fare in the Portland area, sued Tiffany Craig in June for defamation.
In a post on her blog, Criminallyvulgar, Craig claimed that the state medical board had disciplined Darm for offering a patient free treatment for her spider veins in exchange for sex.
An excerpt from the medical board judgment, as quoted on Craig's blog, says:
"Licensee examined Patient A on August 3, 2000 and September 21, 2000 to evaluate the treatment results. Patient A repeatedly expressed concern about some 'spider' veins on her legs, but that she could not pay for additional treatment. Licensee informed Patient A that he would provide her with free treatment at his clinic closing time. On or about November 16, 2000 at about 9:30 PM, Licensee used a laser to treat Patient A's condition on her legs. At the conclusion of the treatment, as she was reclined on her back, Licensee leaned over Patient A and made intimate physical contact with her and inferred that would be his payment."
That post still appears on Craig's blog.
As a result of the incident, The Oregonian reported that Darm had to take classes on professional boundaries and keep a chaperone with him when examining female clients, but did not "hand over his medical license," as Craig claimed.
In a September hearing, Craig's lawyer, Linda Williams, argued that the case should be tosses out, based on Oregon's Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (SLAPP).
The stipulated dismissal says no attorney's fees or costs will be awarded to either party.
Darm's lawyer, Thomas McDermott with Lindsay, Hart, Neil & Weigler, refused to comment on the case.
Williams did not return phone calls.