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SmileDirectClub Sues NBC News for $2.8 Billion Over False, Misleading Statements

— May 22, 2020

NBC News is in hot water over a lawsuit filed by SmileDirectClub. The $2.8 billion suit alleges the news agency made false statements about the oral care company during a February report.

SmileDirectClub recently filed a $2.8 billion lawsuit against NBC News over allegations that the News company broadcasted a story about the oral care company with “dozens of errors in it.” According to the lawsuit, SmileDirectClub claims that a story, “which said some customers reported painful problems from using their at-home dental alignment products, had more than 40 false and misleading statements.” The story aired on the news station’s ‘Nightly News with Lester Holt’ back on Feb. 13.

Dentist’s chair in exam room; image by Daniel Frank, via
Dentist’s chair in exam room; image by Daniel Frank, via

The suit further alleges that “NBCUniversal Media and reporter Vicky Nguyen knowingly and intentionally made factually inaccurate, misleading and defamatory claims about SmileDirectClub and its treatment.” It states:

“NBC must be held accountable for its abuse of power and betrayal of trust…Viewers and readers across the country turn to the media for the information they need to make decisions about their health and well-being.”

For those unfamiliar with SmileDirectClub, the company actually allows patients to “obtain clear aligners and check-in with dentists and orthodontists associated with the company while at home.” It offers convenience to patients either living busy lives or who have trouble leaving their homes for one reason or another. Additionally, the company “allows these affiliates to refer patients to in-person care if needed.”

When discussing some of the reasons behind filing the lawsuit, SmileDirectClub said that after the report aired on NBC, “its market cap fell by $950 million after the report.”

On top of that, the company alleged in the suit, which was filed in Nashville, that it “made senior officers available for interviews as well as coordinated interviews with doctors and patients…and also provided hundreds of pages of documents demonstrating the safety and effectiveness, and benefits of the treatment.”

What exactly was aired during the NBC report, though? For starters, the news story cited “testimonials of patients who complained of pain after SmileDirectClub treatment, including a patient who said her orthodontist diagnosed her with a crossbite that may have been caused by the company’s aligners. Another patient said the aligners “moved his teeth so fast that it caused some of them to detach from the bone.”

Chung Kau, chairman and professor of orthodontics at the University of Alabama, also appeared during the NBC interview and said “moving teeth without in-person care could cause permanent harm.” However, Gary Moore, a SmileDirectClub contracted dentist, told the network he “suspects orthodontists and dentists opposed to the company are upset about losing money.”


SmileDirectClub files $2.8B lawsuit against NBC

SmileDirectClub Seeks $2.8 Billion in NBC Lawsuit Over ‘Defamatory’ Story

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