Google sued by Japanese doctors for negative reviews on map app

At least 63 doctors file lawsuit against Google after their business was affected due to bad reviews

Web Desk
Japanese doctors sue Google Maps over one-sided punching bag reviews. — GCC Business News/File
Japanese doctors sue Google Maps over "one-sided punching bag" reviews. — GCC Business News/File

A group of Japanese doctors have filed a lawsuit against Google for receiving bad reviews on its Google Maps app, Japan Times reported.

The 63 doctors include dentists, medical practitioners and veterinarians, who claim that these reviews tend to be one-sided and are often left anonymously which create a bad impression of their clinics discouraging patients from coming in.

The case filed in the Tokyo District Court on Thursday, seeks ¥1.45 million (about $9,400) in compensation from Google.

Individually, each doctor seeks ¥23,000 in damages, totalling ¥1.45 million.

As per Yuichi Nakazawa, one of the lawyers representing the case, the purpose behind suing is not to earn money but to raise awareness about the several problems within the Google Maps system.

One of the doctors said: "People often misunderstand that I’m taking these actions because I want bad reviews about me to be deleted, but that is not the case."

The lead plaintiff said that the medical institutions are like "one-sided punching bags".

"Unlike other businesses, patients don’t pay the majority of the treatment covered by the national health care system. Therefore, we cannot give into all the demands that the patient has — we can’t prescribe unnecessary medicines or perform unnecessary tests. So we have to decline such requests, but when we do, it can result in a bad rating on Google Maps," he added.