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Woman Wins $2 Million Malpractice Settlement After 13 Teeth Extracted

Posted on Aug 25, 2009
In 2006, a South Carolina woman went to an oral surgeon to get three troubled teeth extracted in an out-patient operation. When she awoke, however, she found that the dentist had removed all 16 of her upper teeth. Now, three years later, the Florence, SC, woman was awarded $2 million in a medical malpractice suit by a SC jury.

According to Fox News, 28-year-old Elizabeth Smith went to the Sexton Dental Clinic in Florence, SC, to get three teeth removed. After the enormous medical mistake was made, the dentist and clinic employees attempted to cover up the mistake by altering her chart. Even during the South Carolina medical malpractice trial, the dentist denied any wrongdoing. Now, after the settlement was announced, the clinic is thinking of appealing the decision.

Smith's South Carolina medical malpractice lawyer told the judge that reconstructive surgery would cost an estimated $80,000. The Florence County jury found the clinic guilty of gross medical negligence - specifically implicating three dentists: Dr. Robert W. Scott, Dr. Robert G. Jamison, and Dr. John R. Clark. Jamison had been in trouble in South Carolina before, with a 1996 violation of care leading to disciplinary and corrective actions that included probation, fines, and an educational course.

Smith, who hails from Sumter, South Carolina, originally went to the dentist seeking treatment for a single cracked tooth before the dentist removed 16 teeth and then allegedly falsified her dental records to cover their surgical mistake.

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