In 2015, a NSW man went to a dentist to correct a history of dental problems after seeing an advertisement in his local newspaper for “All-on-4” dental implant. What happened next led to a years-long court proceeding that ended in early April 2020, with a judgement in the patient’s favour.
The man visited the dental practice in late April 2015, hoping to have teeth on his upper jaw removed and replaced by implants, according to court documents. However, one of the implants failed over the course of a few months and, in September of that year, the dentist was unsuccessful in replacing it and relining a prosthesis that had previously been installed.
What happened next?
That led to severe pain and bleeding, exacerbated by a pre-existing heart condition for which he had been treated for some 15 years, the report said. The victim claimed this led to a host of physical and mental health issues, resulting in a suit for medical negligence.
The suit sought relief for not only the failed implants but also large and severe haematomas, destruction of bone near one of his removed teeth, problems eating, difficulty with eating and speaking, anxiety and more.
In his defence, the dentist contended that he conducted the procedure within the widely accepted practice, and had warned his patient of the risk that the implants could fail but the patient opted for the procedure anyway. Irrespective of other considerations in the case, the court found that this constituted “informed consent” on the civtim part, and that his complaint that he had not provided it was a fundamental misunderstanding of the legal term.
What was decided?
In the end, the verdict was in favour of the patient, with the court warding damages in the sum of nearly $178,000. These include $100,000 for future expenses associated with the procedure, nearly $54,800 for previous costs and more than $23,000 in non-economic losses. However, the judgement left open the possibility that these figures could be revised in the future, depending upon further filings.
When you or someone you know has been affected by a potential case of medical negligence, it’s always a good idea to get the legal experts at Gerard Malouf & Partners on your side. Give us a call today, and we can set up a free consultation and also determine whether you are eligible for our No Win No Fee program.