Addressing an issue of first impression, a Manhattan-based appeals court has ruled that under 2020-enacted amendments to New York state’s anti-SLAPP statute, a woman’s critical comments posted online about treatment by her plastic surgeon are in the “public interest,” and therefore she can seek attorney fees and damages tied to the surgeon’s unsuccessful defamation lawsuit against her.

The woman’s online “posts concerning the plastic surgery performed upon her … qualify as an exercise of her constitutional right of free speech and a comment on a matter of legitimate public concern and public interest—namely, medical treatment rendered by a physician’s professional corporation and the physician performing surgery under its auspices,” ruled a unanimous panel of Appellate Division, First Department court justices in an opinion written by Justice Julio Rodriguez III.

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