$250k Dental Malpractice Case Farmington Hills, MI
In November 2018, Farmington Hills, MI attorney Robert Gittleman made headlines. He helped a dental malpractice client win a substantial jury award after she suffered a permanent injury to her mouth. The damages she received in this case will help her cope with the changes and challenges she faces ahead.
Our legal team would like to go over the details of this successful case, and focus on the issue of informed consent in dental procedures. Specifically, we will look at what the term means, why it is important, and the limits of informed consent when a dentist makes a terrible mistake that harms a patient.
Details of the Case
In April of 2016, Karie A. Ferrell visited Dr. Jason Cohen to receive a routine dental crown on one of her molars. In order to reduce patient discomfort, Dr. Cohen administered a local anesthetic via syringe. In the process of doing so, the needle was misdirected and wound up injecting the anesthetic into a cranial nerve. The nerve was seriously damaged as the anesthetic was forced into it. As Mr. Gittleman described the injury for Michigan Lawyers Weekly, “It’s like filling a balloon up with water until it bursts.”
As a result of the nerve damage, Ms. Ferrell suffered a permanent loss of sensation in her chin, lips, and gums on the right side of her mouth.
The defense for Dr. Cohen tried to argue on the basis of “implied consent” that Ms. Gittleman was aware of the potential risks going into the procedure.
The Jury Verdict
A Wayne County Circuit Court Jury awarded Ms. Ferrell $250,000 in damages to address the significant changes in her overall quality of life. Had it not been for the dentist’s mistake, she would not have to endure a lifetime of numbness affecting one half of her mouth.
On the Issue of “Informed Consent”
“Informed consent” essentially means that a patient gives a medical or dental professional permission to perform a procedure even with the knowledge of all the potential risks and benefits. The idea is that the patient, knowing possible disadvantages of a treatment or therapy, still decides to grant permission and go through with it.
Robert Gittleman on Informed Consent in This Case
Informed consent is an important part of medical and dental procedures. However, as Mr. Gittleman told Michigan Lawyers Weekly, there is no such thing as informed consent for negligence. Ms. Ferrell’s complication was unacceptable, and lasting injury goes well beyond the acceptable risks covered by informed consent.
When dentists make egregious mistakes that permanently affect a person’s life, they need to be held accountable for their actions.
Fighting for Clients Every Step of the Way
Our team understands how an injury from a dental procedure can have long-term impact on your life and general sense of well-being. That is why we are here to fight for you. We will make sure to take your case to trial if needed to ensure justice is served. We can also negotiate fair pre-trial settlements that keep your interests in mind.
Learn More About Your Legal Options
If you have been injured while undergoing a dental, orthodontic, or oral surgery procedure, be sure to contact an experienced dental malpractice and dentist error attorney. Robert Gittleman and his legal team are here to help. You can reach us by phone at (248) 737-3600.