Two million settlement in wisdom teeth extraction death

A 17 year old woman died in June 2015, after having her wisdom teeth removed. This has been reported on http://teethremoval.com/death.html since 2015. The woman was from Minnesota and went into cardiac arrest during the surgery. The woman’s parents in early 2017, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the oral and maxillofacial surgeon. The court documents said that the surgeon and staff did not appropriately anticipate or respond to the emergency. The lawsuit said there were dangerous actions, from incorrectly administering general anesthesia to failing to provide proper monitoring during surgery. The attorney said the parents sued the doctor as it “…gave the family a better understanding of how the death of their daughter came about… They had the courage in a difficult situation to seek the truth about why their daughter died.” The attorney also said “I’m absolutely convinced that … Read more

Exploring the Alternative to Medical Injury Claims in New Hampshire

In a post last year I dicussed briefly the early offer system in New Hampshire see The Optional Alternative to Medical Injury Claims. This is the first of the kind system in the United States that is an alternative to the traditional medical malpractice system. An article in the 2013 issue 4 of the American Journal of Law and Medicine has explored this titled “Evaluating New Hampshire’s First-In-The-Nation Early Offer Alternative to Medical Malpractice Litigation,” and written by John W. Masland. The article states “Many states have enacted medical malpractice reforms, recognizing that their tort systems result in protracted litigation, high costs, and a large number of uncompensated victims. One proposed reform, an “early offer” system, allows a medical provider to make a financial offer covering an injured patient’s economic damages, which, if the patient accepts, precludes litigation…On June 27, 2012, … Read more

Lessons from Medical Litigation of Dentists

Back in June of 2013, I discussed in the post Lessons from Medical litigation in oral surgery practice several lessons that can be learned upon exploring lawsuits occurring in an oral surgery setting. An interesting post on the same topic but applied to dentists as a whole was just written earlier today in DrBicuspid, titled “When a dentist becomes the defendant,” by Meghan Guthman (October 7, 2013, source: http://www.drbicuspid.com/index.aspx?sec=sup&sub=pmt&pag=dis&ItemID=314397&wf=1660“) Apparently this article was already written in the American Student Dental Association in their summer 2013 issue and was just a reprint. The article discusses some data gathered by Medical Protective which is a malpractice insurance company. Their data shows that the average payment to a plaintiff in a dental malpractice lawsuit is $65,000. Around 20% of their dental malpractice cases between 2003 and 2012 involved a tooth extraction with the average … Read more

Litigation In the National Health Service for Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

An article appears in the British Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery titled “Litigation in National Health Service oral and maxillofacial surgery: review of the last 15 years,” by A. Gulati et. al. (50, pages 385-388, 2012). The authors state: “Published data regarding litigation in other surgical specialties are plentiful, but to our knowledge there is little detailed analysis of claims within the specialty of oral and maxillofacial surgery (OMFS) despite information being freely available from the NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA) under the Freedom of Information Act.” The authors used data from April 1995 to August 2010 from the NHSLA. A total of 318 claims were registered during this 15 years. Claims have been increasing in recent years. Of these claims 253 were closed. A total of 137 claims (54%) resulted in compensation with the rest not being successful. The … Read more

Defense Expenses and their role in Medical Malpractice Claims

An interesting article titled “The Impact of Defense Expenses in Medical Malpractice Claims” written by Aaron E. Carroll, Parul Divya Parikh, and Jennifer L. Buddenbaum appears in the Spring 2012 issue of the The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics (vol. 40, issue 1, pages 135-142). The authors state “Multiple factors go into the determination of medical professional liability insurance premiums including return on investments, reinsurance costs, claims frequency, average amount paid out on malpractice claims, defense expenses, and administrative costs such as underwriting expense. These factors all interact with each other and, in general, evidence exists that each of these factors has played a role in the escalating cost of medical professional liability insurance.” The authors go on to describe tort reform efforts and state “These reform efforts include caps on damages, abolition of punitive damages, eliminating mandatory prejudgment interest, … Read more