A White Plains jury has recently given a New York man a $9.8 million verdict for a New York medical malpractice lawsuit. Dentist William Moody of White Plains had treated patient Harold Hagins who was suffering from a toothache. On the third visit in just a few days, Dr. Moody ended up removing two-thirds of Mr. Hagins crown before telling Dr. Moody the tooth was ankylosed.
An ankylosed tooth is, essentially, a tooth with a bone ligament connected from the jaw bone to the tooth. This makes the tooth significantly more difficult to extract, but also makes the tooth much easier to diagnosis because the tooth will not come rise up with the other teeth.
After discovering the ankylosed tooth, Dr. Moody would not continue with the surgery and told Mr. Hagins to go to the hospital for the tooth extraction. While at the hospital, Dr. Michael Miller diagnosed Mr. Hagins with another condition and removed that tooth and all remaining roots.
A month later when Mr. Hagins was still suffering from extreme oral pain, numbness, and a lack of feeling in his mouth, went to a third dentist who came to find that both dentists had grossly misdiagnosed Mr. Hagins’ condition in the first place; the solution was actually significantly easier to treat. In addition, both prior dentists resulted in fracturing Mr. Hagins jaw and damaging a nerve.
A jury found that the treatment provided by both Dr. Moody and Dr. Miller equally contributed to the New York medical malpractice because they had misdiagnosed Mr. Hagins and he could not give informed consent. Essentially, the route of liability was a technicality.
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