$1.225M med-mal settlement after dentist drops crown in throat  

A plaintiff who suffered a host of injuries after her dentist dropped a dental crown down her throat and failed to remove it has settled her medical malpractice suit for $1.225 million, the plaintiff’s attorneys report.

Hinson

Brink Hinson of Hinson, Hiller, & Padget and Steven Price of the Finkel Law Firm, both in Columbia, report that in May 2018, their 72-year-old client was undergoing a routine crown procedure when the dentist dropped the crown into the client’s trachea. The dentist believed that the crown fell into the patient’s esophagus, so he forewent X-rays and advised the plaintiff to drink a glass of water and eat crackers. 

Due to a confidentiality agreement, many of the case’s details, including the names of the parties and venue, were withheld. 

The patient later developed respiratory problems and went to a hospital, where a CT scan revealed a foreign object. Radiologists noted the object’s presence in their radiology report, but not in the report’s summary/impression section, and failed to make other efforts to alert the physician who ordered the study, the attorneys said. 

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Hinson said that in September 2018, sepsis and two collapsed lungs sent the patient to an Upstate hospital’s emergency room and that the crown was removed three days later at a larger hospital. But respiratory illness and infection required a lengthy hospital stay and more than a month of in-patient rehabilitation. 

The patient and her husband filed a lawsuit against the dentist, dental practice group, and the hospital that performed the radiology, claiming that the dentist had fallen below the standard of care by failing to use a dental guard to prevent objects from falling into her throat. The patient further asserted negligence because the dentist failed to arrange X-rays to confirm the crown’s location. 

Price

In separate claims, the patient asserted that the hospital employing the radiologists had breached the standard of care when it failed to promptly contact the ordering physician about the crown’s presence and note the crown’s presence in the impressions section of its radiology report. 

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The patient settled her claims against the dentist and his practice group, and the hospital, for $675,000, and $550,000, respectively. 

“We were able to show through the depositions of those two radiologists that their improper documentation of the dental fragment, coupled with their failure to report their finding directly to our client’s attending physician—known as non-routine communication—was a significant deviation from the acceptable standard of care,” Price said. 

SETTLEMENT REPORT — MEDICAL MALPRACTICE 

Amount: $1.225 million 

Injuries alleged: Respiratory illness, sepsis, collapsed lungs 

Case name: Confidential 

Venue: Confidential 

Date of settlement: Sept. 20 

Special damages: $423,636.23 

Attorneys for plaintiff: Brink Hinson of Hinson, Hiller, & Padget in Columbia and Steven Price of the Finkel Law Firm in Columbia 

Attorneys for defendants: Withheld 

The post $1.225M med-mal settlement after dentist drops crown in throat  (access required) first appeared on South Carolina Lawyers Weekly.

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