A 21-year-old man died hours after having wisdom tooth surgery, even though his physician had specifically advised against any dental treatment.
The oral surgeon who failed to clear the operation with the man’s physician was found guilty of malpractice, and the man’s family was awarded a whopping $11 million.
The New Jersey man had a hereditary immune system disorder that leads to swelling. He suffocated to death from a closed ariway the morning after his wisdom teeth were removed by an oral surgeon in 2005.
The man’s dentist and oral surgeon each pointed the finger at the other. However, the dentist was cleared of negligence, while the oral surgeon was found guilty of medical malpractice for not having consulted with the man’s physician prior to operating.
“This may be the largest dental malpractice verdict, certainly in New Jersey history, and I think in the nation’s history,” said the family’s attorney. “I’m not aware of any larger than this under any circumstances. Dental malpractice cases are usually very small and pale in comparison to this.”