Dentist Not Liable for Patient’s Poor Dental Health

Jury Finds Negligence Was Patient’s, Not Dentist’s

A Wisconsin dental patient filed a lawsuit against his dentist after his poor dental health lead to a brain infection. The jury found in favor of the dentist, deciding the patient’s own negligence had caused his health problems.

Bradley Tegge of Sauk County suffered from serious periodontal disease. He had been seeing Dr. Frank Kube for 10 years before developing symptoms that suggested brain cancer. Instead, doctors found an abscess the size of a golf ball. Treatment left him with some minor brain damage, and he also suffers from migraines.

The patient’s attorney alleges that the dentist neglected to take whole-mouth x-rays that would have revealed the infection as it traveled from jawbone to brain. However, the dentist’s lawyer counters that the patient was advised to see a specialist and counseled on the dangers of leaving his gum disease untreated.

Though Tegge filed suit three years ago, the case only recently came to trial. He had been asking for over $1.4 million in damages, including $650,000 for pain and suffering. After two hours of deliberation, jurors found in favor of the dentist.

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