Articles Posted in Dental Malpractice

In medical malpractice cases, to establish liability and damages the plaintiff will typically have to retain one or more medical experts. As such, it is not uncommon for a defendant to try to defeat a plaintiff’s claims by arguing that their expert should not be permitted to testify. As discussed in a recent medical malpractice ruling, the courts engage in a multi-step process when faced with challenges to the admissibility of expert opinions. If you suffered losses due to the carelessness of a doctor or dentist, it is wise to meet with a Maryland medical malpractice attorney promptly.

The Facts of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiffs brought a medical malpractice suit against the defendant, alleging negligence in the dental care administered to plaintiff-wife. The claim asserted that a proper biopsy and diagnosis by the defendant in August or December 2015 could have prevented a subsequent neck dissection and radiation therapy.

Reportedly, the defendant moved for summary judgment on the grounds that the opinions of the plaintiffs’ expert witness were inadmissible. First, the defendant contended that the plaintiff’s expert could not provide admissible evidence to establish causation. Second, the defendant asserted that the plaintiffs had not demonstrated the existence of any causation evidence related to a specific appointment. Lastly, the defendant argued that the plaintiffs failed to provide evidence that the defendant breached the standards of care during certain treatments. Continue Reading ›

In Maryland, dentists are considered healthcare providers, which means, among other things, they can be held liable for medical malpractice. A plaintiff pursuing medical malpractice claims against a dentist must not only offer evidence sufficient to demonstrate liability, but they must also comply with the applicable rules of procedure. If they fail to do so, their claim may be dismissed, as demonstrated in a recent ruling issued in a dental malpractice case filed in a Maryland federal court. If you suffered harm due to the carelessness of a dentist, it is wise to confer with a Maryland medical malpractice lawyer about what claims you may be able to pursue.

Case History

It is alleged that the plaintiff suffered harm due to inadequate dental care that he received while incarcerated. He subsequently filed a lawsuit in federal court, alleging the dentist was negligent. He also requested to proceed with the lawsuit without paying the filing fee because of his status. The court granted his in forma pauperis request but decided to dismiss the case based on the grounds that it did not meet the requirements necessary for a successful claim.

Pursuing Medical Malpractice Claims Against Dentists Under Maryland Law

The court noted that the plaintiff claimed that the defendant denied his constitutional right to adequate medical care but failed to set forth facts sufficient to support his claim. While the plaintiff alleged negligence on the part of the defendant, the court pointed out that negligence or malpractice is not enough to make a constitutional claim for inadequate medical care. Continue Reading ›

Dentists, like all healthcare providers, have an obligation under Maryland law to abide by the standard of care imposed on their profession. If they deviate from the standard of care and cause a patient to suffer harm, they can be found liable for any damages that arise out of their negligence.  In order to recover compensation in a dental malpractice lawsuit, though, a plaintiff must adequately demonstrate fault and damages, as discussed in a recent Maryland ruling. If you suffered injuries due to dental malpractice, it is wise to confer with a Maryland dental malpractice lawyer about what damages you may be owed.

The Factual and Procedural History of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff filed a dental malpractice lawsuit against the defendant dentist, alleging that he improperly extracted all four of her wisdom teeth, causing permanent numbness and pain in her mouth and tongue area. Specifically, she alleged that during the removal of two of the teeth, the defendant failed to take the proper precautions required by the standard of care and caused severe injuries to her lingual nerves.

Allegedly, the plaintiff also asserted additional claims relating to a breach of the post-operative standard of care and lack of informed consent for the surgery. The defendant filed a motion for partial summary judgment seeking to dismiss the claim for dental malpractice regarding the alleged trauma to the plaintiff’s nerves.

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Pursuant to Maryland law, parties that wish to pursue medical malpractice claims must submit a certificate of qualified expert in conjunction with their complaint. If they fail to meet this requirement, their complaint will most likely be dismissed. While the expert providing the certificate must meet certain requirements, they do not have to practice in the precise specialty as the defendant, as discussed in a recent Maryland case. If you were harmed by a careless physician, it is important to understand what evidence you must offer to recover damages, and you should speak to a Maryland medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible.

Procedural History of the Case

It is alleged that the defendant surgically removed the plaintiff’s dental implants and installed replacements. The procedure required the defendant to create bone grafts and place the implants. The procedure ultimately failed, causing the plaintiff extreme pain. The plaintiff developed an infection and had to undergo additional surgery to remediate the issues caused by the initial procedure.

Reportedly, the plaintiff filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant. In conjunction with his complaint, he submitted a certificate of qualified expert, as required under Maryland law. The defendant moved to strike the certificate and dismiss the plaintiff’s complaint on the grounds that the expert was not qualified. The court granted the defendant’s motion, and the plaintiff appealed. Continue Reading ›

For various reasons, many medical malpractice cases never proceed to trial; some are settled while others are resolved via summary judgment. Either party can seek a summary judgment and the burden of proof is the same for both plaintiffs and defendants. Recently, a Maryland court discussed what a party must prove to obtain judgment in their favor as a matter of law in a dental malpractice case. If you were harmed by a negligent dentist, you should meet with a trusted Maryland dental malpractice lawyer to discuss what damages you may be owed.

The Facts of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff presented to the defendant’s office for potential treatment of dentition. The defendant’s employee discussed a treatment that would entail the removal of her remaining upper teeth and the use of a prosthesis that would be fitted onto dental implants in place of the teeth. The plaintiff consented to the procedure, even though she did not speak to an actual dentist during the visit.

Allegedly, the plaintiff underwent the procedure, after which she experienced poor fit, breakage, and loosening, among other things. The plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the defendant, asserting claims of dental malpractice. After the completion of discovery, the defendant moved for summary judgment. Continue Reading ›

Dentists, like other healthcare providers, have an obligation to provide their patients with competent care. If they fail to uphold their duties and consequently cause their patients to suffer harm, they may be liable for malpractice. It can be difficult to ascertain the source of harm caused by dental malpractice, though, and it is not uncommon for a plaintiff to pursue dental malpractice claims years after the harm occurs. While any claim against a healthcare provider must comply with the applicable statute of limitations, there are circumstances that allow for the tolling of the statute. Recently, a Maryland court discussed the discovery rule in the context of dental malpractice in a case in which it ultimately determined that the plaintiff’s claims were time-barred.  If you sustained injuries due to negligent dental care, it is in your best interest to speak to a Maryland dental malpractice attorney as soon as possible.

The Facts of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff filed a dental malpractice lawsuit against the defendant, arising out of injuries sustained following incompetent dental care. The defendant moved for dismissal of the plaintiff’s claims via summary judgment, arguing that they were barred by the statute of limitations. The trial court granted the defendant’s motion, and the plaintiff appealed. Upon review, the appellate court affirmed the trial court ruling.

Tolling of the Statute of Limitations in Dental Malpractice Cases

Under Maryland law, an action for compensation for harm arising out of the rendering or failure to render professional services by a healthcare provider must be pursued within three years of when the injury was discovered.  In evaluating when the statute of limitations began to run, the courts will generally invoke the discovery rule. Continue Reading ›

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 ›

When a doctor improperly performs a dental procedure, it can lead to decay, tooth loss, and lasting pain. Thus, a person harmed by a negligent dentist may be able to recover damages via a malpractice lawsuit. As with malpractice claims against doctors, though, people seeking compensation for harm caused by careless dentists must comply with jurisdictional and procedural rules; otherwise, their claims may be denied. This was demonstrated in a recent opinion in which the court dismissed the plaintiff’s claims because of his failure to abide by the conditions precedent under Maryland law. If you were harmed by a careless dentist, it is smart to speak to a Maryland medical malpractice lawyer to determine whether you may be owed compensation.

The Plaintiff’s Injuries

It is reported that the defendant performed oral surgery on the plaintiff, which involved exposing the bone under his bottom gum, grinding it down, and closing the gum with sutures. After the surgery, the plaintiff’s lower dentures no longer fit properly. He was then advised that the surgery should not have been performed and that he would need dental implants. As such, he filed a lawsuit against the defendant in federal court, arguing he committed malpractice by performing the surgery.  The defendant filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that the court lacked jurisdiction over the claims. The court ultimately granted the motion.

Pursuing Malpractice Claims in Maryland Federal Courts

Federal courts have limited jurisdiction. Thus, they must assume that a matter lies outside of their jurisdiction unless proven otherwise. The party asserting that jurisdiction is proper bears the burden of establishing subject matter jurisdiction. Typically, federal courts can only hear claims arising out of federal questions or where there is a diversity of citizenship, which requires the parties to be residents of different states and the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000. In the subject case, the court noted that the plaintiff had not alleged diversity jurisdiction or that the parties were citizens of different states. As such, the court found that diversity jurisdiction had not been established. Continue Reading ›

When people hear the phrase “medical malpractice,” they often think of harm caused by a surgeon or primary care physician, but medical malpractice also encompasses harm by practitioners in other fields, such as dentists. Recently, the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland analyzed what constitutes sufficient proof of dental negligence in a case in which the plaintiff could not identify the specific mechanism of harm. If you suffered harm due to dental negligence, it is sensible to meet with a knowledgeable Baltimore dental malpractice attorney regarding your options for seeking compensation.

Factual Background of the Case and Trial

It is alleged that the plaintiff visited the defendant dentist for the surgical extraction of her wisdom teeth. She had never treated with the defendant before. Prior to the extraction, she was given a consent form for the extraction, which she signed. The defendant did not discuss the procedure with the plaintiff before giving her the consent form. The plaintiff was conscious during the procedure and recalled that the defendant had difficulty extracting one tooth, and when it was successfully removed, the defendant and his assistants were yelling and cheering.

Reportedly, following the surgery, the plaintiff never regained sensation or the ability to taste in the left side of her mouth. She ultimately visited a dental surgeon, who diagnosed her with a severe injury of the left lingual nerve. Subsequently, the plaintiff filed a malpractice lawsuit against the defendant. During the trial, the plaintiff’s expert testified regarding the standard of care for dental extractions and stated that there were two possible ways in which he thought that the injury might have occurred. The defendant moved for judgment in his favor at the close of evidence, which the court granted. The plaintiff then appealed.

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Dentists, just like other medical professionals, must provide their patients with competent care. The sad reality is that this does not always happen. If you or a loved one has been hurt due to a dental error, you may be entitled to compensation.

Many different types of dental health care providers can be liable for malpractice, including a general dentist, an oral surgeon, an orthodontist, or even a dental hygienist. Dental malpractice typically involves an injury to a person’s mouth, jaw, or head. Some example of serious dental injuries include:

  • Gum infections;
  • Root canal errors;
  • Nerve injuries to the jaw, lips, or tongue;
  • Wisdom tooth extraction injuries;
  • Facial deformities;
  • Crown and bridges errors;
  • TMJ damage;
  • Oral cancer; or
  • Crown errors.

Dental malpractice, like other forms of medical malpractice, takes place when a dental health care provider is negligent. A dental professional isn’t considered negligent simply because the desired outcome was not achieved. Instead, a dental malpractice claim requires establishing the following elements. The dental professional owed the patient a duty to adhere to a certain standard of care, the dental professional breached that duty by deviating from the acceptable standard of care (i.e., the dental provider failed to act as a reasonable and prudent dental provider would have acted under the same or similar circumstances), and the dental professional’s deviation from the standard of care was a direct cause of the patient’s injury.

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