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Judge Slaps $170,000 Penalty on Former Patient Who Defamed Dentist With Google Review

A Melbourne dentist has won a defamation case over several one-star Google Reviews by a former patient, with a Victorian court ordering she pay $170,000 and legal costs after finding her reviews were damaging to the dentist’s reputation. The Victorian County Court awarded the aggravated damages to Dr. Allison Dean from Melbourne-based Kew Periodontics and Dental Implants, who brought the action against Catherine Puleio. According to the judgement, Puleio was a former patient who visited the clinic on several occasions. However, the relationship ended after Puleio’s conduct proved difficult. The court found Puleio had cancelled appointments with the clinic on six occasions. In response, Puleio wrote and posted four negative Google Reviews on Dean’s business under the pseudonyms Cat and Daniela. In her first review on Mar. 6, 2020, she claimed Dean had caused her to suffer anxiety, constant illness, was negligent, bullied her, and tried to charge her $20,000 …

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