The plaintiff/patient, age seventy-five, was prescribed Clindamycin, an antibiotic, by the defendant dentist during an office visit. The plaintiff had seen the defendant three weeks earlier for a routine cleaning and had complained of a tooth, which had been crowned, being bothersome. The defendant determined that a root canal was necessary.
The plaintiff developed bleeding diarrhea and went to a gastroenterologist. An ileostomy was performed, but failed and had to be reversed, leaving the plaintiff incontinent. The plaintiff claimed that there had been no infection and there was no reason for the defendant to prescribe an antibiotic.
The defendant maintained that the tooth was abscessed and there had been signs of an infection, making the antibiotic necessary. The defendant argued that the development of clostridium difficile is a known side effect of the antibiotic and that it resolved quickly. The defendant claimed that the plaintiff then developed ulcerative colitis which was unrelated to the antibiotic usage.
According to a published account, a $1.25 million settlement was reached.
With permission from Medical Malpractice Verdicts, Settlements & Experts; Lewis Laska, Editor, 901 Church St., Nashville, TN 37203-3411, 1-800-298-6288.