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.
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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