SmileDirectClub settles confidentiality lawsuit with Washington, DC, attorney general

Teledentistry company SmileDirectClub settled litigation with the office of Washington, D.C., Attorney General Brian Schwalb regarding patient nondisclosure agreements.

The attorney general's office filed a lawsuit against SmileDirectClub in December for allegedly misleading customers and suppressing negative information about its products with nondisclosure agreements. 

The office alleged that SmileDirectClub requires customers to sign an NDA in order to get a refund after 30 days of use. These NDAs allegedly violated District law by prohibiting customers who seek refunds after 30 days from writing online reviews, making it difficult for potential customers to make informed decisions. The NDAs also allegedly prohibited customers from filing complaints with government regulators or law enforcement if they suffered injuries.

SmileDirectClub said June 22 it does not require customers to execute a release or any form of nondisclosure before or during treatment, or in order to obtain refunds.

"Given the infrequent use of the [general release form] by SmileDirectClub over the years and the ongoing misinformation campaign, the company already had plans to tailor the nondisclosure provision more narrowly in its GRF," the company said in a news release shared with Becker's. "This litigation gave the company an opportunity to address both that campaign and the lawsuit at the same time."

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