May 13, 2016

French “Dentist of Horror” Found Guilty, Sentenced to Jail

by Levin & Perconti

Many people are afraid of going to the dentist, even though dental practices have improved greatly over the last decades. Special dental practices even offer gentle dentistry to accommodate terrified patients. One dentist in France has done nothing to calm the nerves of anxious patients. The dentist, dubbed the “dentist of horror” was found guilty of mutilating more than 100 patients with terrible dental practices.

Horrible Dentistry

The dentist in this case had been practicing for a number of years in a rural area of France. The dentist performed a number of horrible acts including pulling teeth that were healthy, breaking patient’s jaws, and causing abscesses and blood poisoning. Further, the dentist caused pain and suffering of more than 100 patients.

Many Patients Were Hurt

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March 4, 2016

Dentist Faces Lawsuit for Root Canal Went Wrong

by Levin & Perconti

A Chicago dentist is facing a lawsuit after he performed a root canal that ended up going terribly wrong. A root canal is never pleasant, but for one woman, the experience left her injured and in pain. The woman filed a lawsuit against the negligent dentist claiming the treatment was below the professional standard that is considered acceptable for dentists in Illinois. The lawsuit seeks damage of more than $50,000 and a jury trial has been requested.

Negligent Dental Care
This case brings to light the fact that medical malpractice can occur even with dental services. In this incident, the woman visited the dental office to undergo a root canal procedure. The dentist did not note any problems at the time of the visit. After the surgery, the woman began to experience severe pain, which she reported as being excruciating. The pain would not subside and it was reported to the dentist. In fact, the woman made ten visits to the dentist and the pain continued to go unresolved.

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June 27, 2015

Dentist Accused of Malpractice and Fraud

by Levin & Perconti

Medical malpractice is not just a matter of malpractice by medical doctors. It also includes dental malpractice. Dental procedures can be risky, and dentists are responsible for protecting your health by adhering to an appropriate standard of care. This includes not only properly performing procedures, but not performing unnecessary and inappropriate procedures. Unfortunately some dentists find themselves motivated more by greed than by helping patients, and malpractice occurs.

Dentist in Indiana Accused of Doing Unnecessary Procedures

WISHTV reports that an Indiana dentist is accused of performing unnecessary dental procedures on patients. The dentist is facing potential discipline by the state board. The dentist is also accused of Medicaid fraud. There have been complaints since 2012 that the dentist has been performing the unnecessary procedures. For example, patients claim that he removed dozens of their teeth that did not in fact have to be removed. The current disciplinary proceedings focus on the Medicaid fraud rather than the malpractice allegations, but the dentist has faced malpractice suits in the past for this conduct.

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June 4, 2015

Serious Dental Malpractice Allegations in Florida

by Levin & Perconti

One little reported area of medical malpractice involves the teeth. Dental malpractice can become an whether you are getting a routine cleaning or undergoing serious dental surgery. An area of dental malpractice that is likely highly underreported is pediatric dental malpractice. Since so many children are afraid of the dentist, and since children can often have difficulties expressing accurate and detailed information about their experiences, parents may not even realize that their child has been a victim. This can go on for years, as one case out of Florida demonstrates.

Florida Pediatric Dentist is Facing Extreme Accusations

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April 11, 2015

Two Dental Malpractice Cases Proceeding in Illinois

by Levin & Perconti

Many people fear the dentist. Between the Novocaine shots, the sound of the drill, and bad memories of childhood braces, a day at the dentist is not exactly a day at the beach. But most people go and most of the time it works out perfectly fine. Unfortunately, some people are not so lucky. Some people find themselves victims of dental malpractice. Dental malpractice may not be the most commonly thought of type of medical malpractice, but it can have serious consequences for the patients who experience it.

Aurora Dentist Accused of Malpractice

Wheaton Patch reports that an Aurora dentist is facing allegations of malpractice in DuPage County. The patient in this case claims that his long-term dentist did not inform him that he had gum disease and it was getting worse. The patient went to this dentist from 1980 up through part of 2013. Throughout the over three decades of treatment the dentist provided the patient with general dental care, diagnostic and restorative care, and treatment planning. In 1999 the dentist told the patient that he noticed periodontal disease, but allegedly did not tell the patient about any particular problem area. Allegedly the dentist did not bring up the condition of the patients gums again until 2012. The patient then went to a different dentist, who diagnosed him with periodontal disease. The patient returned to the original dentist, who at that point, in 2013, finally referred the patient to a periodontal specialist. The patient claims as a result of the delay in his treatment he now suffers from a moderate to advanced form of the disease which has required surgery including bone grafting.

Continue reading "Two Dental Malpractice Cases Proceeding in Illinois" »

February 21, 2015

Celebrity Dentist Facing Malpractice Allegations

by Levin & Perconti

Almost no one likes going to the dentist. Its uncomfortable, the drill sounds terrifying, and the lectures on why you should be flossing more often are guilt inducing. However, even though some of us fear the dentist and think that the procedures may hurt, very few people imagine that their dentist may actually cause them lasting harm. But, just like a surgeon or a primary care physician can commit medical malpractice, a dentist can commit dental malpractice. Now there are allegations that one celebrity dentist has done just that on numerous occasions.

Celebrity Dentist from “The Swan” Faces Eighty-Six Allegations of Misdiagnoses and Botched Procedures

The Orange County Register reports that dentist Dr. Sherri Worth is facing a long list of allegations from the Dental Board of California. Worth gained celebrity status when she acted as a dentist on the relatively short-lived reality show “The Swan.” Her regular dental practice is in Newport Beach, California. Back in 2012 she lost a malpractice lawsuit and was ordered to pay the plaintiff $641,542. In that case an arbitrator found that Worth had incorrectly installed a patient's crowns and that as a result the patient suffered relentless pain. The allegations from this lawsuit are included in the Dental Board's complaint against Worth.

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September 19, 2013

Dozens of Dental Patients Test Positive for Hepatitis Following Dental Negligence

by Levin & Perconti

The “typical” case of medical malpractice (at least in the minds of most community members) is usually a doctor in a hospital who commits some overt error--surgical errors, misdiagnosis, medication problem, etc. However, we often point out how many other types of healthcare providers can also commit malpractice and the form of the errors can be varied.

That principle is perhaps best epitomized by a story making headlines again involving a dentist whose carelessness may have caused a hundred patients to contact various versions of hepatitis.

The Case
The situation first came to light earlier this year. According to published reports, starting in 2007 and for the next several years, the dentist ran a clinic that engaged in such horrific sanitary practices that over 7,000 patients were exposed to hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and even HIV. Thus far, at least 97 patients have tested positive--89 with hepatitis C, five with hepatitis B, and 4 with HIV. Almost no one possibly considers that they may contract some serious viral infection as a result of a standard dental visit. Yet, if the medical team on whom you rely are chronically careless, then anything goes.

All told, the doctor faces dozens of citations and allegations from patients on the state Board of Dentistry. Many of the hepatitis and HIV infections were caused by improper sterilization, leaving vials open, and storing dental equipment in unclean environments. Beyond the clear sanitation problems, investigators found that the medical professional simply ignored many other standard safety practices and rules. For example, he did not properly display his licenses, did not keep proper records of drug dispensations, and allowed dental assistants to perform work to which they are not legally allowed.

Criminal Charges?
In the aftermath of the allegations, many officials were outraged and considered bringing criminal charges against the doctor. In April, the head of the state’s dentistry board indicated a desire to pursue criminal charges against the doctor (an oral surgeon who specialized in dentures). A complaint was filed which referred to the doctor as a “menace to society.” Thus far, it does not seem that actual criminal charges having been filed, even though though the director of the medical board met with the local prosecutor’s offices.

License Reinstatement?
Amazingly, even after all of this, recently the dentist spoke out and asked for his license to practice back. As discussed in a News 9 story recently these latest actions by doctor are some of the first statements he’s made since the charges against him.

Several patients have spoken out since then. One explained the feelings of learning about her predicament, “"I remember everyday waiting to get my letter, my results back after I got tested. I thought about those 20, 30 people that I sat in that room with. I thought, ‘Are they going through the same thing I am? What if their results are positive?'"

She went on to voice amazement that, even after all of the damage caused, that the doctor would even attempt to re-open his clinic and treat patients again.

See Other Blog Posts:

What is the Effect of Doctor “Apologies?”

Debate About Doctor Oversight Rages On

April 5, 2013

Settlement in Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Oral Surgeon

by Levin & Perconti

The goal of a civil lawsuit is to make an injured party “whole.” Damages therefore seek to compensate one for medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and other things that were “lost” as a result of the negligence. But what happens when a party dies as a result of negligence? Obviously that party cannot be made whole--no amount of money can change anything. It would be perverse if negligence that caused a death somehow was less costly for the negligent party than an accident that just caused an injury. Fortunately, at these times surviving family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit to receive compensation for their own losses.

These wrongful death lawsuits can arise in virtually any situation, from car accidents and slip and fall incidents to medical malpractice. For example, the Baltimore Sun recently reported on a settlement in a wrongful death guess following a passing connected to dental surgeon. The story is heartbreaking and a reminder that mistakes can prove fatal in even the most routine settings.

Wisdom Tooth Surgery Gone Wrong
Two year ago, the seventeen year old victim in this case went to have a procedure done that millions of similarly aged people have performed: she was getting her wisdom teeth out. While this operation is a real surgical procedure, it is performed so often that most assume it to be a routine matter that comes with little risk. Sadly, when proper care procedures are not followed every step of the way by involved medical providers, even wisdom tooth extractions can prove deadly.

In the middle of this young woman’s procedure, dental professionals eventually realized that something was wrong. The girl went into a coma, where she stayed for ten days before passing away. Later it was discovered that the girl’s brain did not receive enough oxygen while she was out during the surgery.

Obviously the girl’s family was devastated, as there is no way to prepare for the death of a child--let alone a death during a routine oral operation. In the aftermath of the passing, the family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against several involved parties, including the anesthesiologist, dental surgeon, and the medical business entities involved. The lawsuit alleged that the defendants were negligent in allowing the girl’s heart rate to drop and failing to revive here, all leading to the oxygen deprivation and the girl’s passing.

This week a settlement was finally reached in the matter. The terms of the settlement have not been released-- confidentiality is often a component of many of these settlements. However, hopefully it ensures that accountability is had for this tragedy, at least in some small way.

The teen’s mother previously indicated that she hoped that this tragedy would raise awareness among all families about the dangers of dental procedures. Unfortunately, it often takes a shocking incident like this one for others to take to various risks into account. Our medical malpractice lawyers know that, just as with any other caregiver, it is helpful for families to ensure that their dental professionals are of high quality to ensure negligent harm is avoided. If you or someone you know suffered a similar injury in Chicago or elsewhere in Illinois, please get in touch with our office to see how we can help.

See Other Blog Posts:

Jury Decision Upheld in “False Light” Case

Malpractice Verdict in Case Alleging Failure to Diagnose

February 22, 2013

LeAnn Rimes, Dental Malpractice, & Lawsuit Damages

by Levin & Perconti

Several news outlets reported late this week on a new dental malpractice lawsuit filed by well known singer and actress LeAnn Rimes. As Ace Showbiz explained in a recent story, the new lawsuit alleges that the defendant doctor botched a myriad of things during over three years of treatment on the celebrity. As a result of the mistakes, the suit claims, the singer has been forced to endure significant pain and nearly a dozen extra surgeries and treatments with wide-ranging impacts on her work.

Dental Errors
Mistakes made by dentists continue to fly under the radar for most community members. Likely because of exaggerated claims by tort reform proponents, medical malpractice affecting hospitals and physicians seems to make news on a daily basis. But discussion on quality of care among dentists and oral surgeons is less discussed. This is unfortunate, because it is just as important for local residents to be careful about who they select for dental work as it is for selections about traditional surgeries on other parts of the body.

LeAnn Rimes found that out the hard way. According to reports, the singer suffers from a jaw disorder affecting her TMJs--tempromandibular joints. Medical experts explain that TMJs are essentially the hinges that connect your lower jaw to your skull. Problems with this part of the body can be incredibly painful, affecting one’s ability to chew. Collectively, the different problems affecting this part of the jaw is known as TMD Disorder.

The complaint filed in the dental malpractice case by Rimes states that the defendant doctor suggested that he could ease some the TMJ-related problems and improve the singer’s appearance by providing upper front veneers and crowns. However, Rimes claims that the job was done improperly, causing her significant problems. She ultimately needed to undergo nine root canal operations and a temporary bridge. In fact, she even needed physical therapy to recover from the errors. On top of it all her suit claims that she has a “permanent cosmetic deficiency” as a result of the situation.

Damages Following Dental Malpractice
Besides acting as a reminder that these errors can affect anyone--including the rich and famous--this case is also a good example of how damages in these matters are very personal. The purpose of the civil law is to make one “whole.” While not an exact science, the general idea is that you examine what position one would have been in without the negligence and compare that to where they are now. In Rimes case, that means they must take into account the fact that she had to cancel several concerts as a result of the dental errors. Presumably significant sums of money were lost because of those cancellations. If it was foreseeable that the negligence would lead to that loss, then recovery in the lawsuit should include compensation for those concert losses.

If you or someone you know has suffered serious and permanent injury as a result of dental malpractice it is important to remember that you have legal rights. Please contact the attorneys at our firm to see how we might be able to assist.

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Manner v. Cause on a Death Certificate

ICU Deaths and Misdiagnosis

December 17, 2012

Dental Malpractice Cases Mount Against Doctor

by Levin & Perconti

Medical malpractice includes much more than mistakes made by doctors and nurses in hospitals. Instead, any professional who provides various forms of healthcare treatment and advice can make errors and cause serious harm to patients. For example, dental patients frequently face serious problems because they do not receive the basic care to which they are entitled. Just as with hospital errors, dentists can be held accountable under the law for mistakes which cause harm.

Sadly, there are some dental professionals who are chronically negligent--hurting patient after patient before finally being held accountable. That seems to be the case for one dentist who now faces many different medical malpractice lawsuits and millions of dollars in liability. Dentistry IQ shared information on the situation. According to their reports, the dentist in question has faced state regulatory problems, patient complaints, and other issues for well more than a decade.

Dental Negligence
As often happens in these cases, there is not just one accusation of a problem but a series of prolonged practice and administrative concerns. It all suggests a business more interested in maximizing profit at all costs than providing proper care to each and every patient.

For example, one of the patients who filed a suit against the doctor alleges that the professional left a drill inside the patient's tooth. Not only that, but the doctor never informed the patient of the situation; he only found out later when complications developed. Another patient visited the doctor to have dental implants installed. The dentist allegedly botched the job, leaving the patient "disfigured" as a result of the mistake. Those two cases are far from the first alleging problems with this doctor’s work. State records indicate that as far back as 1998 there are accusations of incomplete tooth extractions and tooth drilling that was "too deep" leading to unnecessary root canals.

Administrative problems also existed at the facility. In the past, the doctor was sanctioned for allegedly billing a dental insurance company for work that was never performed. In addition, several former employees of the dental facility suggest that he never actually paid them for their work. They had paychecks bounce and were unable to actually receive funds from the dentist.

Taken together the claims of malpractice, bounced checks, and incorrect insurance billings suggest a dental practice run amok. The long string of problems are leading some to wonder why the facility was allowed to stay open at all, particularly because state regulators knew about problems for years. According to reports, while the dentist's infractions were serious enough to revoke his license to practice, state regulators have thus far declined to do so. Instead, they hit him with a $20,000 fine and a two month suspension. A stay in the permanent suspension means that the medical facility is still open and running.

This case is a reminder of the need for patients to be careful about who they select for all of their medical needs, including dentists. Just because a doctor has a license to practice does not mean that they provide the best care possible or even care up to a reasonable standard. If you are ever hurt by poor dental care, you have legal rights to hold the doctor accountable and receive redress for your losses. Visit a lawyer who works on these cases to learn more.

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December 7, 2012

Dental Malpractice Today

by Levin & Perconti

CBS Local recently reported on a dentist from the Smile Implant Center who is being brought before the state’s dental board for not following up with patients, along with other more serious malpractice complaints. The former Illinois practitioner had his license revoked in our state before going to California in 2002. In one instance this May, a negligence lawsuit was filed against the doctor for the death of a patient. This case provides us with a prime example for an overview of dental malpractice today.

From the more simple forms of malpractice like not following up with patients, to the most egregious (a patient dying due to a negligent act), patients should be aware of the typical types of malpractice that can occur as a result of your dental visit. If you have been injured or suffered harm in some way, there may be compensation available to you.

However, you may be unsure about what dental malpractice is, and what type of dentist behavior is applicable for a claim.

Legal Definition of Malpractice
Just like doctors and nurses, dentists can face professional malpractice lawsuits when they do not act appropriately. Dental malpractice can include instances when one suffers an injury due to negligent dental work, delayed diagnosis or treatment of oral disease or other conditions, or failure to diagnose or treat possible dental problems.

Generally speaking, in order for you to have a viable dental malpractice claim, the dental care provider must have unintentionally or intentionally committed an act that a reasonably prudent oral health care provider would not have committed during the same time period, and that act must have caused significant injury or harm.

Specific Examples of Malpractice
Dental malpractice cases take many different forms. Some of the most common include:
When a dentist does not take a complete medical history record from the patient, causing some unexpected problem in the middle of a dental procedure (i.e. cardiac arrest).
When a dentist fails to diagnose the beginning of periodontal disease. Timing matters in these diagnoses, and so there is no room for delay.

Dental anesthesia errors. These mistakes can cause serious short and long-term health problems.
Inadequate equipment sterilization. When medical tools are not properly sterilized, then infectious diseases can be transmitted to the patient negligently.

Seek Out Legal Help
If you suspect that you might have fallen victim to a dental mistake, it is imperative that a claim is made properly within the time allotted by the statute of limitations. If you or someone you know is struggling with harm or injury from a dentist, consult an attorney as soon as possible to validate your claim.

November 16, 2012

Dentist Faces Several Med Mal Lawsuits

by Levin & Perconti

Stress over going to the dentist is one of the most common fears among children and adults alike. There is something inherently scary about having your mouth poked and proded, and this leads many to put off trips to the office. Of course, in reality, most dental professionals are incredibly caring, thoughful, and gentle workers who do everything they can to make the situation as stress free as possible. But what happens when that trust is violated?

While most do not think of dentists when hearing the word "malpractice," in truth, dentists are just as capable as medical doctors of violating reasonable safety standards and causing undue harm. In those situations, the affected patients can pursue legal accountability.

Dental Malpractice
That is exactly what happened in one state according to a recent story in My Fox 8. The article discusses a dentist who is facing several medical malpractice lawsuits for his substandard work, placing him at risk of owing substantial funds to injured patients. It seems that the medical professional had a problem which chronic negligence, harming many of his unsuspecting patients along the way.

For example, one patient claims that a drill was left inside his tooth following a root canal. The doctor did not notify the patient of this problem. Instead, he just closed it up and moved on, leaving the patient with no idea that something had gone wrong. In a different case, a woman claims that the same clinic left her "disfigured" after dental implants went awry. These are not two isolated incidents. In fact, records dating back well over a decade demonstrate a range of problems by the dentist including conducting partial extractions, drilling too deep, and even billing dental insurance companies for work that was never performed.

All of this has led to the state professional review board to take action. Earlier this year that dentist's license was temporarily suspended and he was given a $20,000 fine from the state's Board of Dentistry. The fine, the Board noted, was for problematic work. However, notwithstanding the temporary fine, the Board has yet to permanently revoke the dentist's ability to practice. In fact, his office doors are still open and he is working with patients. The report indicates that his infractions are serious enough to give the Board the power to permanently take his license, but they have thus far refused to do it.

All of the medical malpractice cases that have been filed against the doctor are set to go to trial next year. It is unclear how far those cases have progressed or if they are likely to settle beforehand. In any event, the problems at this one office are indicative of the fact that poor medical care often clusters around certain professionals or facilities who continually fail to meet basic standards. The majority of professionals offer consistent and quality work. But it only takes a few outliers to cause serious harm to a great number of communtiy members.

See Our Related Blog Posts:

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October 1, 2012

Emotional Testimony in Dental Malpractice Trial Following Toddler’s Death

by Levin & Perconti

When community members hear the word “malpractice” the mind almost always jumps to medical doctors and mistakes made by those working in the hospital. But malpractice cases can just as easily stem from misconduct by dentists and dental hygienists. There is often less serious ailments among dental patients, and so it is easy to overlook the fact that severe harm can still befall those who do not receive proper dental care. That is particularly true for the most vulnerable patients—young children. Serious injury and even death is sometimes possible when those working at dentists offices or orgal surgical centers fail to act appropriately.

Dental Malpractice – Wrongful Death
For example, San Antonio Express News reported last week on developments in a dental malpractice trial involving the tragic death of a twenty two month old child. The boy was just shy of his second birthday when he went in for what was supposed to be a routine dental procedure.

The boy went into the facility over two and a half years ago. The child woke up during the procedure crying and agitated. The mother explained that when her son seemed upset while in the facility, she called a nurse over. The nurse then injected something into the boy’s IV tube—the mother did not know what. About 10 minutes later, the child was showing signs of sleepiness. That is when the nurse gave a second dose.

The procedure was finished and the boy was sent home. The child’s grandmother was babysitting the baby that afternoon, when she called the mother voicing concerns that the child was still sleeping very heavily. Later the grandmother called again in a panic, explaining that she was giving the boy CPR, because he did not seem to be breathing.

The child was rushed to the emergency room while unconscious. Doctors did the best they could, but he was soon on life support. The boy was declared brain dead. He remained on life support for 15 days before he was removed from the mechanical devices and passed away.

The Legal Issue
The mother and father eventually contacted a lawyer who works on these cases to learn about their options. Eventually a dental malpractice case was filed. The trial concluded last week.

Originally the nurse who administered the morphine, the surgical center which employed the nurse, and the anesthesiologist were all named as defendants. However, the surgical center and nurse were not a party to the case which went to trial last week. In is unclear from news accounts if the other parties settled separately or if the matter was split into different actions.

In any event, at the trial the anesthesiologist admitted that the death was likely caused by an accidental overdose by the nurse. However, he is likely contesting his accountability for the nurse’s mistake. The plaintiffs are likely arguing the opposite—that the anesthesiologist was responsible for the boy’s overall well-being, even if he did not physically administer the drug. Instead, they claim that he likely acted negligently in not monitoring the boy’s overall condition, and ensuring he was safe before sending him home.

See Our Related Blog Posts:

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November 17, 2011

Illinois Doctor Warns of Unrecognized Cancer Risk from Unnecessary Dental Radiation

by Levin & Perconti

Too much radiation can have health consequences—almost everyone has heard the warning. Yet most people assume that dangerous radiation exposure comes only in unique situations such as by working in factories where certain chemicals are used or following a nuclear plant meltdown. Those assumptions may be misguided, as a new alert in World Wire recently issued by a local doctor reminds community members that dangerous exposure can come in much more innocuous situations.

As the American Cancer Society explains, radiation is essentially the emission of energy from any source. There are many different kinds of radiation, some more harmful than others. Each exists along a spectrum of high-energy to low-energy. In addition, that radiation can be either ionizing or non-ionizing. In general, it is only ionizing radiation that can cause cancer, because it involves high-frequency radiation that is strong enough to damage DNA cells. These potentially dangerous forms of radiation include Gamma rays and x-rays.

Of course, x-rays are something that most residents experience from time to time, as they are used for diagnostic purposes in a variety of medical settings. On many occasions this x-ray radiation exposure is a necessary evil, as the benefits of the exposure in treating a certain condition outweigh the harm that may be caused by increased radiation exposure. Yet, some doctors are questioning that balancing test in certain situations—such as in the dentist’s chair. The new alert spread by the local doctor specifically warns that unnecessary dental x-rays may lead to a significant increase in cancer risk in patients.

Many dental facilities currently take x-rays of patient mouths as part of routine checkups or when registering new patients. These x-rays are unnecessary and potentially dangerous, particularly for children. Several reports have found that the thyroid gland is the most radiosensitive organ in children. This means that radiation exposure in the head and neck may pose particularly high risks for the unsuspecting youngsters. That harm is even more possible when new “cone –beam CT scanners” are used. These new medical devices offer detailed images for dentists, but they emit much higher levels of radiation, because they are continually emitting x-rays as they travel around the patient’s mouth. The doctor issuing the release summarized the situation by noting, “Not surprisingly, the incidence of thyroid cancer has escalated by 168% since 1975. The past and continuing practice of routine dental radiation, especially in children, is flagrant dental malpractice, if not criminal.”

In the legal context, it is often difficult (but not impossible) to have overexposure of radiation as the basis for a medical malpractice suit in the event that a patient develops cancer and believes it is linked to this sort of radiation exposure. That is because the negligence law which forms the basis of most medical malpractice lawsuits often requires strong evidence to prove the “cause” element—whereby the actions of a certain defendant were shown to cause the harm. Actions that increase the risk of harm to the patient may also be uses to prove the “causal” element of the suit. Yet, those increased risk cases are usually related to more direct events—like a delayed diagnosis that increased the risk of certain harm befalling a patient. In the end, it is likely important for all local residents to simply remain very aware of these radiation concerns and to work with medical professionals closely to minimize all exposure.

Continue reading "Illinois Doctor Warns of Unrecognized Cancer Risk from Unnecessary Dental Radiation" »

July 14, 2010

Lawsuit Filed Against Dentist for Medical Malpractice

by Levin & Perconti

A West Virginia woman has filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against her dentist for the substandard and harmful care he provided two years ago. The West Virginia Record reported yesterday on the suit that Linda Johnson filed against the Charleston Dental Association.

In January 2008, Dr. Ernest N. Pennington (a member of the dental group named in the suit) took impressions of Mrs. Johnson’s mouth. The impressions were preparatory work for a bridge which Mrs. Johnson intended to have placed in her mouth.

However, the material used for the impressions caused severe complications in Mrs. Johnson’s mouth. Her gums were eventually infected because of the material. The infection in turn had negative effects on the newly installed bridge. The bridge did not fit properly, which lead to exposed tooth roots and extreme pain.

The dental malpractice has required Mrs. Johnson to have several teeth removed, painful procedures performed, and other costly work completed. The dentist who performed these corrective measures, Dr. Richard Smith, indicated that the problems he fixed in Mrs. Johnson’s mouth were likely caused by substandard dental care in the bridge procedure.

Many dental patients do not often consider whether the complications from their dental procedures may have been the result of substandard medical care. However, just like any other form of medical malpractice, inadequate, harmful, and negligent dental work is a violation of patients’ expected level of care. Our Chicago medical malpractice attorneys at Levin & Perconti fight for victims of all types of medical malpractice, including those suffering at the hands of negligent dentists. If you may have been one of those victims, please contact representation to ensure you are compensated for your pain.

July 5, 2010

Illinois Veterans Victims of Medical Malpractice

by Levin & Perconti

Fox News recently reported on a large-scale example of medical negligence that has put thousands of members of our armed forces at risk.

Several weeks ago the John Cochran VA Medical Center in St. Louis notified over 1,800 veterans who had been provided care at the facility that they may have been exposed to hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV. Each of the armed service members had been sent to the Medical Center to receive dental care.

The potential contamination was caused by negligent dental technicians at the facility who hand-washed certain equipment instead of putting them into the special-made cleaning machines. This process is contrary to protocol and makes the equipment susceptible to contamination, in this case with forms of hepatitis and HIV. The technicians were guilty of sacrificing the care of their patients all in an effort to save time.Cleaning and sterilizing equipment is one of the basic components of proper medical care.

Medical malpractice at VA hospitals has occurred all too frequently. A hospital in Florida used contaminated colonoscopy equipment and a Philadelphia facility committed radiation errors with several veteran patients.

Also, in November a spike in patient deaths at a Veterans Affairs hospital in southern Illinois initiated a probe. According to reports, the surgeons at that Marion, Illinois facility were performing unauthorized procedures and failing to properly assess patient deaths. Eventually all surgeries at the facility had to be suspended.

Medical malpractice affects all types of hospitals, those that treat private citizens as well as our veterans. It also occurs in all types of medical procedures, from complex surgeries to routine dental work. In fact, dental malpractice is a common form of doctor error that all too often goes unnoticed and unreported.

For that reason, everyone seeking medical care should be alert to the potential errors that are caused by negligent medical professionals. If you suspect any similar negligence contact a nearby medical malpractice lawyer, like ours at Levin & Perconti, to protect your rights. Our attorneys have decades of experience protecting victims of dental malpractice and every other form of medical negligence.

January 31, 2010

Oral Surgeon Named in Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

by Levin & Perconti

A woman’s dental surgery has spurred a medical malpractice suit. The lawsuit claims that the oral surgeon left a drill bit in the victim’s right maxillary sinus. This left her with dizziness, pain, nosebleeds and a sinus infection. The medical malpractice lawsuit named the oral surgeon and the health group in the suit. The oral surgeon had used a burr to separate her teeth and make the extraction easier. However, somewhere in the surgery the burr became detached and lost. When the victim came back to the dentist’s office he stated that she was feeling normal pain. She later had to go to the hospital to receive medical attention for the dental error. Doctors performed a magnetic scan in order to find the drill bit which only caused it to move further within her head. The drill bit has now been removed but she still may suffer from nickel poisoning. This type of dental error could have implications on the victim’s health for years to come. To read more about the dental malpractice lawsuit, please click the link.

January 22, 2010

Chicago Man Sues Dentist for Unnecessary Root Canal

by Levin & Perconti

According to, a Chicago man has filed a dental malpractice lawsuit against his dentist after he claims he underwent an unnecessary root canal and extraction. According to the dental malpractice lawsuit, the man visited a doctor complaining of pain in his 20th tooth. The dentist subsequently performed a root canal on the tooth, but the pain came back. He then planned to extract the tooth and replace it with an implant. A year later, the man went back to the dentist with a fracture in the 19th tooth. It was discovered that the source of the man’s pain and the root canal and extraction of the 20th tooth was unnecessary. The two count medical malpractice suit also accuses the doctor of lack of informed consent and seeks $50,000 plus legal costs. To learn more about the Chicago dental malpractice, lawsuit please click the link.

October 10, 2009

Autistic’s Teen’s Fatal Overdose Blamed on Hospital

by Levin & Perconti

An autistic young man, who was unable to speak, entered a Children’s hospital for some routine dental work. The hospital made the reckless medical error of using a painkiller-laced patch though his procedure. This type of patch is usually only meant to ameliorate chronic pain in cancer patients and others. The victim was discharged and found dead in his bed the following morning. The medical examiner stated that he had died from a drug overdose caused by the fentanyl patch. This family alleges he should have never even been given the fentanyl patch, nevertheless the highest dose available. The hospital has already admitted they committed medical error in prescribing the drug to the young man. The drug now requires a pain-management specialist’s sign off before it is administered. According to the Federal Drug Administration, wrong prescription of the fentanyl patch has become a persistent problem across the country during recent years, leading to numerous reports of death and life-threatening injuries. The report shows that doctors have inappropriately prescribed the fentanyl patch to patients for acute pain following surgery, for headaches, occasional or mild pain, when it should not be prescribed. The family feels a great deal of remorse considering the egregioius and preventable mistake that caused their son’s death. If you or a loved one has been wrongly prescribed fentanyl, please consult an Illinois lawyer. To read more about the wrongful death, please click the link.

April 29, 2009

Dental Surgeon Sued for Medical Malpractice

by Levin & Perconti

A dental surgeon is charged with medical malpractice for allegedly erring while performing a procedural biopsy. The woman claims to have permanent nerve damage and loss of smile appearance from the dental malpractice. She also claims she can no longer smile without feeling pain. The woman’s plaintiff attorney has alleged the doctor used substandard care when performing her biopsy.

Read more about the dental malpractice case here.