Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson


Allure Esthetic broke the law by forcing thousands of patients to sign non-disclosure agreements prior to any treatment

SEATTLE — A federal judge agreed with Attorney General Bob Ferguson, ruling that Seattle plastic surgery provider Allure Esthetic and its owner, Dr. Javad Sajan, illegally prevented patients from posting negative reviews about the business.

Ferguson filed a motion for partial summary judgment in a lawsuit against Allure and Sajan, asking the judge to rule ahead of trial on a key claim in the lawsuit. Specifically, that the clinic broke the law by requiring more than 10,000 patients to sign illegal non-disclosure agreements before receiving any treatment. In many cases, patients learned they had to sign only after paying Allure a nonrefundable $100 consultation fee. 

U.S. District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez granted Ferguson’s motion on Friday, finding that Allure’s “pre-service” non-disclosure agreements violated a federal law that protects consumers’ rights to post truthful reviews about a business. The penalty for this violation will be determined at trial, which is scheduled for September.

Ferguson’s consumer protection lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, also accuses Allure of intimidating and bribing patients to remove negative reviews, ordering its employees to post fake positive ones, and altering “before and after” photos to misrepresent the actual results of procedures, among other allegations.

The lawsuit asserts these illegal practices inflated the clinic’s online reputation to deceive potential patients.

“Online reviews are often the first stop when consumers are determining who to trust,” Ferguson said. “That’s especially critical when those services deal with a patient’s health and safety. We will take action against those who illegally stop Washingtonians from sharing reviews with the public.”

Ferguson filed the lawsuit after the Attorney General’s Office received complaints from patients about Allure’s deceptive practices.

One of those complaints came from a Seattle woman who accompanied a family member to a consultation for gender-affirming care. She wrote that she was “greatly troubled by the practice of forcing patients to sign a NDA before they even see the doctor.”

Allure is a major provider of plastic and cosmetic surgery procedures in the Seattle area, with offices in Seattle, Lynnwood and Kirkland. The company does business under several names, including Allure Esthetic, Gallery of Cosmetic Surgery, Seattle Plastic Surgery, Alderwood Surgical Center and Northwest Face & Body.

Prior to Ferguson’s lawsuit, Allure had prominently displayed its “5-star” Google and Yelp ratings on its website. Individuals rely on online reviews to help them find a doctor. According to a 2020 survey, over 70 percent of patients use online reviews as the first step to finding a new doctor.

Details of illegal non-disclosure agreements

From 2017 to 2019, Allure required patients to sign a non-disclosure agreement that forced them to contact the business directly if they had any concerns rather than posting a “negative review.” The agreement stated that Allure considered anything under four stars a “negative review,” and required patients to “not say anything” that would “hurt the reputation” of the office.

Prospective patients received these agreements in a stack of pre-procedure paperwork that they were required to sign before receiving any services from Allure. In many cases, Allure required patients to pay a $100 consultation fee before disclosing that they must sign the non-disclosure agreement.

Under this “pre-service” non-disclosure agreement, Allure required patients to agree to “pay monetary damages to the practice for any losses” if they did not take down a negative review. Some patients were also required to waive health privacy rights, to “allow a response [to the review] from the practice with my personal health information” if they post a negative review. Ferguson’s lawsuit asserts this provision is a violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Allure updated its non-disclosure agreements in 2019 to remove this language, but they still required patients to contact Allure directly to “reach a resolution” instead of posting a negative review.

Allure used these “pre-service” NDAs until March 2022.

Remaining claims relate to Allure’s other deceptive practices

The lawsuit is ongoing with respect to Ferguson’s other claims. According to the lawsuit, after forcing patients to sign the illegal “pre-service” NDAs, Allure followed up with patients who posted negative reviews after their treatments. The lawsuit asserts that the clinic offered them money and free services to “make it right” in exchange for taking down the negative reviews. In other cases, Allure threatened to sue its patients. 

If a patient accepted Allure’s offers of cash or services to remove a negative review, Allure then required the patient to sign a second non-disclosure agreement requiring them to remove any negative reviews and to refrain from posting negative reviews in the future. This second “post-service” non-disclosure agreement included a $250,000 penalty if a patient failed to comply.

In addition to using NDAs that prevented patients from posting negative reviews, Allure also directed employees to post fake positive reviews and significantly alter “before and after” photos. Allure employees also used hundreds of fake email accounts to allow the clinic to take skincare rebates intended for patients.

Ferguson’s lawsuit asserts that all of these practices violated HIPAA, the state Consumer Protection Act (CPA) and the federal Consumer Review Fairness Act (CRFA).

Assistant Attorneys General Matt Geyman, Camille McDorman, Zorba Leslie, Bret Finkelstein, Alex Kory, Ben Brysacz and Rabi Lahiri, Investigator Victoria Suner, Paralegal Miranda Marti and Legal Assistant Christopher Kiefer are handling the case for the Attorney General’s Office.

If you see any business trying to restrict online reviews, or any other potential deceptive business practices, report it to the Attorney General’s Office by filing a complaint at atg.wa.gov/file-complaint.


Washington’s Attorney General serves the people and the state of Washington. As the state’s largest law firm, the Attorney General’s Office provides legal representation to every state agency, board, and commission in Washington. Additionally, the Office serves the people directly by enforcing consumer protection, civil rights, and environmental protection laws. The Office also prosecutes elder abuse, Medicaid fraud, and handles sexually violent predator cases in 38 of Washington’s 39 counties. Visit www.atg.wa.gov to learn more.

Media Contact:

Brionna Aho, Communications Director, (360) 753-2727; Brionna.aho@atg.wa.gov

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