Dental office suing Butler County man over negative comments online

CRANBERRY TOWNSHIP, Pa. — A local dental office is suing a Butler County man for tens of thousands of dollars over negative comments he left online.

CJ Szelestey says it all started at an appointment for two crown repairs in December. He was in the chair when he was told he owed money.

“I had to pay $110 in cash before I left or saw a doctor,” he said. “I picked my tooth up off the tray and left. I paid with a debit card.”

After the appointment, the negative comments began.

CJ shared the first on his Facebook page saying in part, “Do NOT go to Three Rivers Dental Group in Cranberry or Greentree. They left me tooth and money-less [...] PLEASE DO NOT GO HERE. BE AWARE.”

The comments continued on Google. The lawsuit claims CJ was “impersonating” employees while responding to questions. He says that’s not true.

He did paint a message on the back of his Jeep saying “3 Rivers Dental Sucks.” That Jeep is in the shop, so he painted a new message on a van.

“If I think Three Rivers Dental bites and I want to write it on my car, I’m going to do it. A $35,000 lawsuit isn’t going to scare me out of doing it. I’m just going to speak louder.”

According to the lawsuit, CJ caused the company a “Loss of goodwill, confidence, trust of customers. Loss of business and professional reputation. Incalculable lost profits and employment opportunities.”

“I think it comes down to pretty basic First Amendment rights when it comes to this stuff,” CJ said.

He tells Channel 11 the next step is hiring a lawyer.

Channel 11 did reach out to both Three Rivers Dental and the company attorney. So far, we’ve not heard back.

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