The plaintiff, age thirty, suffered a severe injury to her mental nerve during an extraction of an ankylosed tooth. The operating dentist (defendant) was a first year medical student under the supervision of the co-defendant dentist. The plaintiff claimed that she was not informed by the defendant dentist that he had only been a doctor for eight months and had never extracted a tooth before. The defendant dentist was not able to complete the procedure and a more experienced dentist was brought in to finish the surgery.
The plaintiff claimed that the defendant dentist performed the surgery without any supervision in the room and that the co-defendant dentist was not present in the room during any of the actual surgery and created his medical chart three weeks later, after the injury was discovered.
The plaintiff contended that the lack of supervision allowed the defendant dentist to cut through both sides of the lower jaw and destroy the nerve which controls the sensation of pain in the left part of her face.
The defendants admitted that an injury occurred to the mental nerve, but denied negligence. The defendants also denied causation and maintained that the plaintiff failed to mitigate her damages.
According to reports, a $950,000 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.