(AP) The Minnesota Supreme Court says a man's online post calling a doctor a real tool is protected speech.
The high court on Wednesday dismissed a case by Duluth neurologist David McKee, who took offense when a patient's son posted critical remarks about him on some rate-your-doctor websites. Those included a claim that a nurse called the doctor a real tool.
The justices say the comments posted by Dennis Laurion don't add up to defamation. They say referring to someone as a real tool is a protected statement of opinion that can't be the basis of a defamation claim. They also say it doesn't matter whether the unnamed nurse actually exists.
The decision reverses a Minnesota Court of Appeals decision that would have let the doctor's lawsuit proceed to trial.