Whew! $15 Million Dental Malpractice Award in Washington

Oral Surgeon Plans to Appeal Jury’s Award

In a jury trial, Washington state’s Spokane County Superior Court awarded a stunning $14.8 million to a woman left disabled after a series of jaw operations. The defendant’s lawyer commented that it was the largest dental malpractice award he had seen in his 21 years of practice in the state.

Kimberly Kallestad, 29, originally injured her jaw while sledding. Botched operations left her jaw fused shut. She suffers from chronic pain, and her parents now take care of her.

Oral surgeon Dr. Patrick Collins has allegedly had similar problems with patients in the past. He is planning to appeal the verdict.

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Dentist Leaves Drill Bit in Patient’s Sinus

Dentist drill bit left in patient's sinusA Florida woman recently had an inch-long dentist drill bit burr removed from her sinus after nearly a year.

When an oral surgeon removed two decayed teeth from the 35-year-old woman’s mouth, he apparently did not notice that he had lost the drill bit.

The woman experienced pain, sinus infections, dizziness, numbness and other symptoms. Her lawyer claims the oral surgeon dismissed her concerns out of hand. He did not x-ray her, which would have shown the burr.

She ended up at a hospital for treatment. Not knowing she had a piece of metal stuck in her head, doctors there gave her a magnetic scan – which caused the metal to move, causing severe pain. (Luckily, pain was all it caused… the fact is, the magnetic scan could have killed her.)

Eleven months after the drill burr got trapped in her sinus, it was surgically removed. It remains to be seen whether she will have lasting health problems; nickel poisoning is a concern.

Not surprisingly, she hired a lawyer and filed suit. The dentist (no longer practicing at that office) declined to comment.

Read more: Dentist’s drill bit left in head for 11 months, lawsuit says

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