Saturday, February 26, 2005

Vancouver couple gets jury award against Yellow Pages company

A couple was awarded $1.5 million because the Yellow Pages publisher mistakenly reported that a doctor was board certified when in fact he wasn't.

I think the important thing here is the implied credibility that comes with proper YP advertising. You wouldn't see this type of lawsuit against the PennySaver.

Also, mistakes do happen, and it is really sad that the woman suffered. But I wonder how culpable Dex really is. Sounds like the company with deep pockets was made to pay up.

Vancouver couple gets jury award against Yellow Pages company: "Vancouver couple gets jury award against Yellow Pages company

Associated Press

PORTLAND, Ore. - A jury has awarded $1.6 million to a Vancouver, Wash., couple who sued Denver-based Dex Media Inc. alleging that a fake Yellow Pages ad led them to a Portland dermatologist who disfigured the woman during liposuction.

The allegations against Dex date to 1996, when Dr. Timothy Brown told a Dex sales representative that he was now performing liposuction.

The company told him to continue advertising under 'dermatology' but to also begin advertising in a section for plastic and reconstructive surgery.

Brown's resulting ad in that section noted that he was 'board certified.'

But Vancouver resident Michelle Knepper alleged that the Dex representative knew that Brown was certified only dermatology, not in plastic and reconstructive surgery.

Knepper said she relied on the implication that Brown was a board-certified plastic surgeon. Knepper said the surgery left her with permanent deformities.

Dex, in turn, said there was no clear evidence that Dex intended the ad to mislead, that Knepper relied on the ad, or that either Dex or Brown committed any fraud.

The company said it knew Brown was certified in dermatology, but denied that it knew whether he was certified in plastic and reconstructive surgery.

The jury awarded $1.2 million to Michelle Knepper and $375,000 to her husband, Jeff Knepper, for loss of spousal services and companionship.

Jerry Brown, a spokesman for Dex, which publishes directories in 14 states where Qwest Communications International Inc. is the primary local carrier, said the company plans to appeal the ruling. Qwest formerly owned Dex.

'We publish 260 directories in 14 states,' Brown said. 'We don't validate every claim.'

Brown also said the company now requires physicians to specify their certified special"


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Take a minute to review the facts of the case. It's obvious the jury did. They didn't just "give" the plaintiff's $1.6 million for fun. It was clearly fraud on the part of the publisher.

2:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you might wish to get your 'facts' straight. It was a trial by jury, with a panel of peers making a decision. Furthermore, the case has continued to be in appeals court, and no money has been awarded. Lastly, it is very sad indeed in America when the big corporation with endless pockets can continue to keep a court case going, (after admitting mistakes-check court transcripts -and changing what they do NOW for advertising practices)and manipulate the media so that the truly injured party continues to suffer. It might also be interesting for you to do a wee bit more research and note that there are at least 11 other cases against DEX and Brown for fraudulent practices. But why do the research, its much better to keep misinformation going and perpetuate 'facts'

1:17 PM  

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