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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Dental Malpractice Suit Has $11M Payout

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.”

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Dental Board Head Extracted Wrong Teeth

Extracting teethNo one is perfect – not even the head of California’s Dental Board. Before taking the position in 2006, Dr. Suzanne McCormick agreed to pay out nearly $100,000 in a malpractice case.

Though she was supposed to remove two wisdom teeth from the 13-year-old’s mouth, she instead extracted two healthy molars.

As the settlement included a gag order that prevented the boy’s family from publicizing the case, this information has only recently become public.

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