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When our client was 13 years-old, she went to see her dentist about some stubborn baby teeth. The dentist informed her that the teeth would not exfoliate on their own and recommended extraction by an oral surgeon. The dentist’s staff member filled out the paperwork incorrectly. Instead of requesting extraction of the baby teeth, the permanent adult first molars were marked on the referral form and radiograph. The oral surgeon then removed all four of the patient’s permanent first molars. These teeth should not have been removed. They are important to the occlusion and used as anchors for regular orthodontic treatment. As a result of the extractions of her adult teeth, she had large gaps between her teeth. She has required five years of orthodontic treatment and will require future implants. The case was tried for seven days against the dentist, practice, and oral surgeon, and settled while the jury was out. The judge dismissed the jurors, with thanks for their role in enabling the parties to settle. Counsel for the parties encountered jurors in the parking lot afterwards and learned that the jury had been almost finished with deliberations. The settlement was approximately 12% less than the principal amount of the verdict would have been.

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