Breaking News Emails
A prominent plastic surgeon in Miami has filed lawsuits against two former patients for writing unflattering online reviews about his work.
Dr. Leonard Hochstein, known as the "boob god" of Miami and whose wife, Lisa, is on the Bravo reality TV show "The Real Housewives of Miami," claimed that the two women have damaged his reputation with unfair commentary.
"My reputation is the most important thing to me. My patients come to me strictly through word of mouth," Hochstein told NBC Miami of lawsuits he filed in Miami-Dade County court. "You want to defend yourself against things that you know didn't happen."
One of the two defendants, Nicole George, said she found Hochstein through online reviews and said the doctor's lawsuit speaks volumes about his practice.
"If you can't give a real, honest review, negative or positive, what kind of practice are you?" George told NBC Miami.
George claimed that Hochstein botched her "mommy makeover" procedure, which included a tummy tuck, liposuction and breast lift and augmentation. The doctor left unsightly scars and one breast a different size, according to George's online Yelp review.
Worse, George said in her review, the doctor had no empathy for her concerns.
"I called to ask Dr. Hochstein about my concerns. He told me, 'Your case is not significant to me,' which devastated me," George wrote, according to the review cited in Hochstein's lawsuit, which was filed in February. "How awful to hear."
George conceded that before her surgery she signed a pledge not to write a bad review. But federal law prohibits businesses from enforcing such nondisparagement agreements, NBC Miami reported.
"I put my name on the document because I thought it was standard for all plastic surgeons," George said.
But the doctor was emphatic that he would persist in his lawsuits against what he deems unfair reviews.
"Be honest, tell the truth," he said to NBC Miami of reviewers. "There's nothing wrong with saying, 'I didn't like my surgery, I didn't like how it went,' and just stop there. Don't make things up."
Another defendant, Kristen LaPointe, wrote in a Yelp review that Hochstein made her breast augmentation too large.
"I was very unhappy with the results. The implant put in wasn't even the size I requested," she wrote. "I also have horrible scarring."
Hochstein's lawsuit against LaPointe was filed in June 2018.
The Hochsteins made headlines in 2017 when they posted pictures of themselves fleeing oncoming Hurricane Irma — in a private jet, with their child and two dogs. The luxury evacuation didn't sit well with Floridians who didn't have access to a private jet.
Hochstein has been licensed to practice medicine in Florida since 1995 and has no record of discipline or complaints to the state Department of Health, Florida records showed.