Earlier this week a jury awarded $1.6 million to a couple in Oregon that claimed that they found a rather unscrupulous plastic surgeon in their local Yellow Pages. Odd, I thought there was something about "buyer beware" that applied to all transactions between buyers and sellers.
You begin to wonder if the couple – and the awarding jury – are watching too many of those makeover shows on television. We're not talking about selecting a dry cleaner to press some clothes or picking a dentist who is into to the latest teeth- whitening fad.
We're talking about serious surgery that requires considerable skill and experience. Using the Yellow Pages or any local online information service is not some new version of "pin the tail on the donkey" – it is serious business and requires the buyer to conduct sufficient research and due dilligence beyond the claims listed in a print YP ad or on a website. How about asking a friend or two – or imagine this – asking for references?
Those jurors now ought to use the Yellow Pages or a local search engine to find a good psychiatrist to get their heads examined . . . but beware . . . perhaps they'll call someone and end up with nothing but a "shrink".