Frankfurt am Main Higher Regional Court (Case No. 6 U 219/19)
We all know the trick and it has happened to all of us at least once in a lifetime. You see an advertising and you absolutely fall in love with the product or service… you run to the next shopping center and buy it. It turns out, the results are completely different from the advertising campaign. Well, can you do something about it? Can you get your money back? The same thing could also happen in the world of doctors and medicine. They promise to you a beautiful new nose and you come out of the office that you look like just worse than ever. Or just like in this case: the orthodontist promise to give you a new smile… and you get out with a really disappointed face. However there are a lot of conscientious doctors that know what is possible and what’s absolutely not and the sometimes they also sue against this unfair way of doing publicity of other colleagues.
A German orthodontist has set up a website for her practice where she provides information about her various treatments and offerts. Among other things, it is also talked about braces treatment for possible patients who have little time and still want to have perfect teeth. Patients receive 14 different braces, each of which is to be worn for a fortnight. These splints are going to bring the teeth into the correct position.
The orthodontist promises on her website that the patients will soon be able to smile more beautifully. However, a competitor orthodontist considers these claims to be inadmissible and brings this case to court.
In the second instance, the Higher Regional Court in Frankfurt am Main ruled in favour of him of this second doctor. Advertising for “perfect teeth” is considered unlawful. The doctor thus wrongly gives the impression that a success of the advertised treatment can be expected with certainty. Patients have a special trust in doctors because of their healing mission. They therefore assume a certain objectivity and restraint in advertising. Consequently, patients expect that doctors do not work with advertising exaggeration campaigns.
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