While people typically think of malpractice cases arising in the context of treatment for conditions of the body, dentists can be liable for malpractice as well. Dental malpractice claims, like other claims against health care providers, must be filed within the statutory time frame; otherwise, the injured party may waive the right to recover damages. The statute of limitations can be extended, though, in cases in which a person does not discover the cause of his or her harm immediately after it occurs. In a recent Maryland opinion issued in a dental malpractice case, the court discussed when the discovery rule applies to extend the statutory period. If you suffered harm due to a negligent dentist, it is smart to meet with a Maryland dental malpractice lawyer as soon as possible to protect your right to seek compensation.
The Plaintiff’s Harm
It is reported that in May 2015, the plaintiff consulted with the defendant dental center about having his wisdom teeth removed. He believed that a certain surgeon would be performing the procedure under twilight anesthesia, but the defendant dentist extracted his teeth using only a local anesthetic. After the procedure, his tongue was numb. He called the defendant center the next day it was open and reported he could not feel his tongue and was advised it was a normal side effect.
Allegedly, he returned to the defendant center four days later and then a week after that and was advised that his tongue would get better with time. Ultimately, he saw a second dentist in November 2015. While the dentist was surprised that the plaintiff could not feel his tongue, he did not indicate it was due to something the defendant dentist did. In July 2018, the plaintiff underwent a medical examination, after which the doctor advised him his tongue numbness was caused by a transection during his wisdom tooth extraction. The plaintiff then filed a malpractice claim against the defendants, who moved for summary judgment on the grounds the claim was barred by the statute of limitations. The court granted the motion, and the plaintiff appealed. Continue Reading