Failure to Observe Early Signs of Oral Cancer - $2 Million Verdict

The patient/plaintiff in this case, a man in his late fifties, contended that the defendant dentist negligently failed to consider that a small area of red ulceration constituted signs of squamous cell carcinoma. The plaintiff maintained that timely investigation would have revealed either a precancerous condition, or at worst, a very early cancer that could have been treated with excision only.

The plaintiff asserted that because of the delay and progression, he required very extensive reconstructive surgery entailing the use of muscle and bone from his leg. The plaintiff maintained that the moderate cosmetic deformity is permanent in nature. He also claimed that he has difficulties eating and must drink from a straw. 

The defendant dentist contended that she performed a very careful exam that would have disclosed the lesion if it had been present.

At the end of the trial, a jury awarded the plaintiff over $2 million.

With permission from Medical Malpractice Verdicts, Settlements & Experts; Lewis Laska, Editor, 901 Church St., Nashville, TN 37203-3411, 1-800-298-6288.