Smile Direct Club (SDC), a teledentistry company that allegedly specializes in providing a cheaper and simpler method of straightening its client’s teeth from home, is suing NBC in Tennessee federal court for more than $2.85 billion, according to Hollywood Reporter. SDC claims that in a February 2020 NBC broadcast of the NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, the network allegedly made over 40 incorrect statements regarding the SDC doctors. Statements made include NBC’s allegations that SDC doctors are not interested in treating patients and that the company specializes in “do it yourself” dentistry that disregards state and federal regulations. In addition, NBC was allegedly aware of their wrongdoings because SDC allegedly made their company and licensed dentists and orthodontists available for interviews with the network.
SDC is suing NBC for violation of the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act. They also emphasize that as a result of the network’s story, SDC’s stock dropped 15% and its market capitalization has decreased by $950 million, via Hollywood Reporter.
SDC’s complaint states, “The breadth of its misconduct is staggering. NBC misled its viewers and readers about the safety of the treatment that patients receive when using SDC’s platform, the very real involvement of licensed dentists and orthodontists in the treatment of patients using SDC’s platform, and the effectiveness of the treatment that patients receive when they are treated using SDC’s platform. Incredibly, nearly everything that NBC stated and implied about SDC in its broadcast and online report was factually inaccurate,” via Hollywood Reporter.
When news of the lawsuit was first released, NBC sent a statement to various news outlets stating, “We stand by our reporting and believe this is a meritless claim.”