Failure to diagnose periodontal disease-$ 125,000.00

$125,000 pre-trial settlement after 20 years of negligent.

Plaintiff was a 45 year old telephone company network technician who had been under the continuous care of his general dentist from 1975 until 1995. Plaintiff was compliant and diligent about his oral hygiene and followed all dental advice by the defendant: when he needed restorations, he had them done; when he needed a root canal, he had it done; when he was told he needed a bridge, he had it done. The plaintiff developed periodontal disease which progressed until some of his teeth had no bony support.Photos.

The plaintiff was never told about the onset or progression of periodontal disease until he visited a different dentist for a “second opinion” at which time he was told to “run, don’t walk, run to the periodontist.”

The plaintiff lost teeth and required four quadrants of periodontal surgery and expensive crown and bridge restorations.

The case settled during a mandatory pre-trial mediation conference for $125,000.00. Broward County, Florida. Kenneth P. Liroff, D.D.S., J.D., of

Root Canal Settlement – $7,000.00

Grinding on tooth causes patient to need root canal; $7,000.00 settlement.

Plaintiff was a 30 year old pressure cleaning mechanic who underwent the construction of a three unit dental bridge by the defendant general dentist. The temporary bridge came loose shortly before the permanent bridge was to be cemented and the plaintiff walked around without the temporary for a few days. During that interval, the teeth shifted and when the plaintiff returned to the defendant for the final cementation of the bridge, the bridge wouldn’t fit.

The defendant attempted to machine out the inside of the molar crown of the bridge and ground down the molar, which significantly traumatized the nerve. The bridge was eventually cemented but the patient was in extreme pain. The subsequent treating dentist had to do a root canal on the molar which relieved the patient’s pain.

Once he was out of pain, the patient quit the subsequent treater, complaining that his fees were too high. He began seeing another subsequent treater but never returned to have the bridge finished, by either of his two subsequent treating dentists.

The case settled for $7,000.00 at a mediation conference. Broward County (FL) Circuit Court. Kenneth P. Liroff, D.D.S., J.D., of , Ft. Lauderdale, FL represented the plaintiff. William Zei, Esq., of Peterson, Bernard, et al., Fort Lauderdale, FL, for the defendant.

Negligence during Root Canal – $50,000.00

Negligence during root canals results in inflammatory reaction in bone leading to failure of bridgework – $50,000 Florida Settlement.

The plaintiff; a young attorney, suffered from congenital anodontia (born without many deciduous teeth and permanent tooth buds) and had undergone very sophisticated crown and bridge reconstruction and implants during his life. During a root canal performed by the endodontist-defendant, a fissure or crevice in the pulp chamber floor was noted by the defendant who claimed that it was not a perforation and that he did not cause it but that he did detect it. The defendant completed the root canal in the usual and ordinary fashion, including the cleansing of the chamber and canals with formocreosol. Formocreosol is a highly toxic formalin-containing medication customarily used during root canal procedures. Plaintiff’s position was that an unusual extraordinary situation was treated in accordance with the standard of care for an ordinary and usual case. Thus, the plaintiff contended that the “fissure” or perforation should never have been exposed to formocresosol which caused a very painful inflammatory reaction in the bone between the tooth roots and resulted in the extraction of the tooth. Since the tooth was a critical abutment for a 14-unit mandibular bridge which was supported by implants, the bridge eventually failed. Plaintiff required replacement of the implants and lower bridge. Defendant contended that his treatment was appropriate and that the implants and bridgework were loose and were destined to imminently fail.

The case was settled prior to trial for $50,000. Kenneth P. Liroff, D.D.S., J.D., of THE DENTALAW GROUP, Ft. Lauderdale, FL represented the plaintiff. Thomas C. Woods, Esq., Miami, FL for the defendant.

Legal Malpractice $437,500.00

Manufacturer’s escape from liability for toxic Sargenti paste blamed on legal malpractice of plaintiff’s former counsel; successor counsel settles with dentist for $1,000,000.00; attorney defendant settles legal malpractice action for another $437,500.00

The plaintiff, age twenty-seven in 1984, underwent several endodontic (root-canal) procedures by her general dentist using the controversial filling material variously called Sargenti paste, N2 and RC2B. The drug has never been approved by the FDA nor the Council on Dental Therapeutics of the ADA, largely because it contains the highly toxic paraformaldehyde and lead and has never been tested for use in humans.

Tissue destruction, mummification and a compromise of the local tissue’s immune system capabilities results when the drug or its vapors come in contact with bone. The plaintiff’s immune system became so compromised that she developed a fulminating Actinomycosis infection which resulted in the loss of half of her lower jaw, more than forty surgeries, and medical expenses over $300,000.

The plaintiff’s initial lawsuit was against her general dentist. During the pendency of that lawsuit, the plaintiff changed counsel and retained the defendant lawyer and her firm. Seven months into this representation, the statute of limitation for products liability against the drug manufacturer expired. After the statute of limitation period expired, the plaintiff discharged defendant counsel and retained new counsel who settled her dental malpractice claim for $1,000,000. The plaintiff then sued defendant counsel and firm for legal malpractice, alleging the defendant failed to recognize the liability of the manufacturer and protect her from the expiration of the statute of limitation.

The drug was manufactured by Benito Ciccione, a New York pharmacist operating as Elbee Chemists, and was distributed throughout the United States by Ciccione’s marketing company, Available Products, Inc. The pharmacist, pharmacy and distributor were covered by one policy of liability insurance with one million dollar limits. Co-counsel for plaintiff, Edwin J. Zinman, had previously obtained a jury verdict against these entities, including punitive damages, on the same issues in a San Francisco, California case. Although the plaintiff would have had to overcome a $1 million set-off if the case had proceeded to trial, a $437,500 settlement was reached.

Improperly Contoured Crowns & Bridges – $21,000.00

Improperly contoured crowns and bridges and negligence in performance of root canal by two defendant dentists results in $21,000 Florida settlement.

The plaintiff was a forty-five year old retailer who had eight teeth prepared in four quadrants as abutments for four bridges after having periodontal treatment. During the crown and bridge phase of treatment, the plaintiff visited the periodontist for maintenance examinations and was told by the periodontist that the crowns were improperly contoured and had open margins. The periodontist spoke to the defendant dentist and sent several notes describing the deficiencies he found, each time requesting that the crowns be remade. A second defendant dentist then performed a root canal on one of the prepared teeth by removing the bridge which was only temporarily cemented in place. At one of the visits, after an instrument broke off in the canal but before completing of the root canal and recovery of the instrument, a dental assistant inadvertently cemented the bridge back with permanent cement. The plaintiff required replacement of the bridges, three of which could easily be removed since they were only temporarily cemented. He also required the root canal to be completed properly and replacement of the bridge over that tooth which had been cut off. The plaintiff’s subsequent dental treatment is being performed while the plaintiff is a guest of the State of Florida’s penal system. The case was settled just prior to the trial which the plaintiff could never have attended. The attorneys for the defense never knew that the plaintiff had “moved”.

The case was settled prior to trial for $21,000. Kenneth P. Liroff, D.D.S., J.D., of THE DENTALAW GROUP, Ft. Lauderdale, FL represented the plaintiff. C. Daniel Petrie, Esq., and Jon Derrevere, Esq., Ft. Lauderdale, FL for the defendants.