Man Wins $2.75M Verdict Against Dentist
A verdict was just announced against a dentist who caused massive hemorrhaging in the mouth of one of his patients. The jury took 90 minutes to return a plaintiff’s verdict. The trial was delayed several times due to COVID-19.
During a three-day trial, the plaintiff accused the defendant of breaching the prevailing standard of care for the industry.
The patient was having his wisdom teeth removed and his dentist ordered images taken. The images indicated that there was a mass in his mouth. The radiologist recommended better images be taken, in this case, an MRI with contrast. The images were never taken and the dentist proceeded with the surgery. The wisdom teeth were removed and the dentist scheduled an incisional biopsy on the soft-tissue mass.
Instead of performing an incisional biopsy, the dentist attempted to remove the mass (excisional biopsy). The patient had never consented to the procedure and the doctor never warned the patient concerning the risks. The patient ended up bleeding into his mouth, required more surgery to repair the damage, and continues to have difficult eating and chewing.
The dentist was accused of medical battery (performing a procedure without the patient’s consent) and medical negligence (failing to get accurate images of the mass before attempting to remove it). The patient had to be transferred to a hospital to avoid fatal blood loss. However, the ER doctors were unable to stop the bleeding and the patient had to be airlifted to a Detroit hospital for emergency embolization surgery. Without this intervention, the patient would have died.
It is unclear if the doctor is still affiliated with the dental clinic, but his name has been removed from their website.
Medical battery versus medical negligence
Medical negligence is when a doctor deviates from the prevailing standard of care for the industry and a patient is injured because they failed to follow procedure. Medical battery is when a doctor forces a patient to undergo a procedure without their consent. The latter is considerably worse than the former. A patient can sue for medical battery even if they are not injured. Doctors must have the consent of a patient unless a court has ruled that the patient cannot make decisions on their own behalf. In that case, the decision would revert to a guardian, not the doctor. The hospital could petition the court to force the procedure on the patient, but it wouldn’t happen in an elective dental surgery.
Talk to an Atlanta Medical Malpractice Attorney Today
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