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Old 01-29-2004, 07:57 AM   #1
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antoni HB User
ANyone actually win a dental malpractice suit

Hi,

I was wondering if anyone has actually WON a dental malpractice lawsuit out there?

I have been speaking with attorneys about filing a suit, but there are so few attorneys that do it.

Also the one place I spoke to works on retainer and I would have to pay expenses plus 30% if I win.

I mean it sounds like if the suit goes back and forth between me and the dentists attorney I will end up with alot of expenses at the end.

Thank you.

A

 
Old 01-29-2004, 11:36 AM   #2
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Re: ANyone actually win a dental malpractice suit

I am not looking for a lawyer right now, I am looking whether to contact the state dental association or the chain that my previous dentist works for, where he is a member, to see whether there is any way that he will cover the costs to fix the problems he created in my mouth, but I am not really looking after a lawsuit.

Anyway, I suggest you research "victim of dental malpractice"; good luck!

Last edited by Well-come; 01-29-2004 at 09:22 PM. Reason: Please don't give directions to others on how to do a search on the internet. Thanks.

 
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Old 01-29-2004, 06:58 PM   #3
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Unhappy Re: ANyone actually win a dental malpractice suit

Dear Antoni,

Sorry to hear that your struggle is continuing. Are you thinking of suing the guy who did the AA, or the prostho who did the onlays?
On my side, things are not improving either: I have started peer review, and it's not going well - the mediator is rude and only calls weeks after he promises (the first time he said he was going to call in 2 days - I did not hear from him for 4 wekks; then he was going to call in a week, but I haven't heard from him in almost 3 weeks). Hmm...That doesn't quite increase my confidence in "peer" review.
I have thought about a small claims court lawsuit as well, but haven't actually talked to any lawyer. If you lose, do you still have to pay the lawyer you talked to? I think you would have to pay the DDS' lawyer. Would you also have to pay the DDS for the time lost from work?
Also, what about an expert witness? Were you able to find anyone willing to testify against another DDS?
Is your dentist aware of how dissatisfied you are? Has he suggested doing anything to help you out? What have you done about your bite? Not that the options are that great.
Sometimes, I am thinking that it may be best to pay to have the work redone to move on, but I am reluctant to let my prostho think he "won".

 
Old 01-29-2004, 07:01 PM   #4
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Re: ANyone actually win a dental malpractice suit

Upps Antoni, I forgot to ask: If you win, won't the dentist actually have to pay for your lawyer's expenses (albeit not the 30%)? I mean, you usually sue for damages plus costs, right?

 
Old 01-30-2004, 08:15 AM   #5
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Re: ANyone actually win a dental malpractice suit

Hi Zach,

There's so much to this -- no wonder noone does it. FIrstly, I finally got the lowdown on my condition. I went to the TMJD clinic in Buffalo and had the whole shot of testing done on my jaw. The jaw is fine. The TMJD specialist identified the problem very easily-- the bite off from the AA and the onlays. I had models and guess what the prostho did --"opened" the bite instead of reshaping the teeth so they "fit" together properly, he just added another layer of material to the back molars, then the front ones shift to match the back and you get an "open bite" where hardly anything touches anymore. Very scary... SO the good news is I don't have TMJD(no more posting on that board). It was just temporary pain right after the bad dental on the molars. But the two new prosthos I saw said not much can be done at this point -- maybe braces to straighten the front teeth, then redoing the onlays but still it won't work.... Like they said "I was not Broke" and was made "broken" by unnecessary dental. I would want to sue on principal because they all know the Air Abrasion is a scam.

How are your gold onlays by the way and your bite...????

The lawyer I met with yesterday stated "peer" review doesn't do much good because guess what---- They take the side of the dentist and you end up with just getting maybe reimbursed for what you paid. Here in New York city, where people pay like $50,000 for dental -- lawsuits are brought but again very hard to prove. Once you start a lawsuit(in my case it would be with the AA dentist and the prostho together so they could go after each other) the dentist's insurance company appoints an insurance company lawyer to oppose the claim(you as the patient are essentially filing a claim againts the dentist and his insurance company). My lawyer said it goes back and forth until a deposition date is set with the court and you meet with the dentists' lawyer to tell your story. There's alot of back and forth and the patient trys to push for a jury trial and the defendant trys to postpone until someone crys uncle to settle or drop it. The dentist's DO NOT Want it to go to a jury trial for the expense and the lost work.

My lawyer never heard of Air Abrasion -- he has an "expert" prosthodontist who would give his expert opinion that I would pay for -- $2,000.00 plus another $1,000.00 to get my dental records from all dentists(and I saw alot) plus filing the lawsuit in court -- like $600.00. This I would pay at the end after the case is settled. BUt you get examined by the expert and the dental experts that the dentist's lawyers assign. Also, what I don't like is that the lawyer will BILL me his expenses at THE END. I have to ask him if he would send me some type of quarterly statement on what the expenses would be. I don't know -- this sounds Very Risky because if I am in the dark till the end the lose and get hit with a huge bill(like you said imagine being hit with the dentist's lawyers fees). Also, let's face it these insurance company lawyers that the dentists have are probably top notch. They have been getting out of these cases for years. My lawyer said, dentists also conveniently claim that they give patients their X-rays so as to mnot show proof with the X-rays -- they get out of things this way too. SO He said to expect alot of lying to go on..

SO I don't know at this point, if it's worth the aggravation of pursuing. I want to do it based on principle but let's face it the reality is these big bucks insurance companies having the upper hand, that's why I think noone sues and people are just stuck witht the bad treatment they receive.

BUt I'll keep you posted. Also what is happening with your bite -- can the gold be replaced or are you just trying to get money back at this point???
From what I know about these crowns/onlays they can only get it precise around 1 millimeter. If it's a good dentist that does it, the fit will be right on. But if you get someone who is bad forget it, it won't fit then it's not worth trying to get it properly fitted again because it could be off by another millimeter and the bite just gets more screwed up.

Let me know how things go with you
A

 
Old 01-30-2004, 10:58 AM   #6
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Carlu HB User
Re: ANyone actually win a dental malpractice suit

Antoni, just a question a little off the track, how much do you have to pay one dentist to send you the dental records which are already in his office? Thanks.

 
Old 02-01-2004, 12:55 PM   #7
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Re: ANyone actually win a dental malpractice suit

Antoni,

Well, this is the third time trying to submit; my first message got lost on Friday.

That sounds horrible, regarding your options.
I still don't understand:
If you win, do you need to pay 30% plus expenses? Or does the DDS' insurance company pay for your lawyer's expenses?
If you settle, what do you need to pay?
If you lose, do you need to pay your lawyer's expenses (or hourly fees?), the DDS's lawyers? What about time off from work for the DDS?

Overall, it seems very risky. What did your lawyer think of your chances? How much would you be suing for?

Have you talked to the two dentists regarding your problems? Did they offer anything, like reimbursements?

Oh, also, what else did the lawyer say about lying going on? I've already caught my prostho in 2 lies that I can prove, by getting my records. Might help if it ever gets to court.

Sorry for all those questions. I am just curious...

My bite is completely changed; who knows whether it will ever be back to normal. The onlays are still temporarily cemented (and have been recemented a number of times). So far, all I've asked the dental society is for the prostho to reimburse me to get some of the work redone. Even if that happened, I would not see a cent personally, and actually lose work for more bite adjustments and to redo an inlay where the tooth cracked about a year after it was placed. Great work, hu.
I am getting very frustrated with peer review. The mediator is rude and arrogant and veerry slow (I haven't heard from him in weeks). That's why I have been thinking about small claims. If I give up, I am afraid the prostho will think he won and treat his future patients like me.

Let's hope this message gets posted this time.

 
Old 02-01-2004, 05:24 PM   #8
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Carlu HB User
Cost of the dental records; out of state.

Anyone can tell me how much do you have to pay one dentist to send you the dental records which are already in his office? Thanks.

 
Old 02-01-2004, 07:13 PM   #9
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Re: Cost of the dental records; out of state.

Carlu,

It depends on the office, but should be only a nominal fee. Maybe 20 bucks without x-rays. I would expect an additional $30 at least for x-ray copies. Good luck.

 
Old 02-04-2004, 10:30 AM   #10
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Re: ANyone actually win a dental malpractice suit

Hi Zach,Carly& All

Thanks for your replies. Just back to the expenses with the lawyer.

I would be responsible for ALL expenses regardless of whether I win the case or not. Plus if I win the lawyer gets 30%. Each party would pay their own attorney's fees unless after it's all over one side decides to sue for these expenses also. The dentist's lost work wages would only come into play if there is a jury trial. My attorney assures me most dentists want to settle or the patient drops the case.

If I win, let's say 100,000 the lawyer would get $30,000(30%) but I would still owe him for the expenses incurred in obtaining dental records, filing the sawsuit and court fees, and price of the "expert opinion". The fees he said would be as follows:

Dental records($100.00-$200.00 per dentist x 10 dentists) - $2,000.00
I know this sounds high but this New York city - 2,000.00 expert opinion court fees $600.00

So total expenses I would be liable for regardless of whether I win or not like $4,600.00 Now is losing 4,600.00 worth the risk if I lose?????I don't think so..Also, by the responses I have gotten from this post, there's no positive lawsuit stories.

Here in the borough of Manhattan, NO law firms practice dental malpractice. I had to find this attorney in the borough of Staten Island. Then one female attorney I got referred by the dental quackwatch consumer advocate board Never called me back so I mean it appears ITS JUST NOT DONE. There must not be any money in doing it otherwise more attorneys would do it. I mean there's tons of lawyers willing to take on other forms of personal injury cases like car accidents, slips and falls in a supermarket, even medical malpractice is more winnable.

Zach, as for confronting the original AA dentist all I got was lies. If I said black he said white and on and on. Even if you catch them in lies and confront them it does no good. It's like those serial killers with NO CONCIENCE they just keep lying denying they did any wrong. Then the next dentist you find who you hope will support you in the truth just lies just as bad. As for the prostho that did the work, I have an appt with him coming up but I really feel it will get me nowhere. Looking back at the work he did, I AM CERTAIN he knew he botched it but didn't care, he just tried to claim other things were causing it as an excuse to get me to spend more money -- he mentioned more bonding, inlays, bite guard on the second molars. I was told BONDING is NO GOOD for the molars because all it does is come off anyway so you just end up spending more $$$$ to replace it. Also, how much more will you have to spend to get the onlays permanently cemented. That is so stressful, you are in a state of limbo. With the prostho I saw recently at the TMJD clinic, he really did not want to take me on as a patient. I got the feeling he didn't want someone elses bad dental work problems. He mentioned maybe braces would work then replacing the inlays/onlay but even then he said you won't get back to where you were. He was rather negative. I mean who wants to go to a doctor who acts like he doesn't even want you as a patient. Then he went on about he would take NO responsibility because of what was done already was so damaging by the prior prostho and he would want ALL PRIOR RECORDS before doing anything.

I finally hit upon an honest dentist from co-workers. I was working as a consultant for a few months and alot of the employees were having crowns/root canals etc; and everything was going fine so they referred me to a dentist in the work neighborhood that many employees were please with and this dentist told me the truth: YOU CAN"T FIX A BAD BITE WITH CROWNS/onlays it can just make your bite worse although alot of cosmetic dentists do it for the money and she REFUSED To replace the onlay. And sure enough when I went to the jaw clinic they said the same thing. When the whole bites involved it gets very complicated because teeth shift as a group up and down then towards the front. It's a nightmare. Braces is one possible answer to maybe start fixing it but I am nearly 40 years old and don't want to go through that again. I mean your jaw changes as you get older anyway it's not like being a teenager where the bite jaw can be changed as your jaw grows. I think it may reactivate my TMJD symptoms.

Keep me posted and I'll let you know what happens in my case

A

 
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