On June 18, 2015, the defendant general dentist performed an unnecessary root canal retreatment procedure on a lower molar tooth of a woman in her mid-50’s. After the defendant perforated outside the root of the tooth, he negligently injected a disinfectant caustic chemical known as calcium hydroxide into the inferior alveolar nerve canal. The inferior alveolar nerve was penetrated and affected by the chemical and began sending pain signals.
Our client required surgery to attempt removal of the neurotoxic chemical. However, the subsequent treating oral surgeon could not safely remove all of the calcium hydroxide overfill from her inferior alveolar nerve, which was damaged the width of three teeth.
The patient has persistent pain and numbness as permanent sequelae of the gross overfill of calcium hydroxide. Her pain is made worse during exercise or exposure to cold windy weather. This is a significant loss for her because she had been a highly competitive athlete her entire life and was actively competing up to the point of her injury.
Her past medical specials were approximately $40,000, and her future medical expenses projected to be approximately $300,000.
Defendants admitted liability shortly before trial. Despite that, the insurance company’s highest offer was $90,000. The jury deliberated for four hours over two days before returning a verdict for $1,500,000.