Shock Verdict Issued Against Huntsville Dentists


A $35,530 verdict recently issued in a lawsuit against two Huntsville dentists is a sing that North Alabama juries may be losing their relative rationalism when it comes to malpractice cases. The defendants were a Mutual Assurance insured orthodontist and a co-defendant general dentist. The plaintiff, a 12-year-old girl, had presented to the orthodontist for braces, and the orthodontist had determined that four teeth should be removed to properly place and utilize an orthodontic appliance. He sent extraction orders to the general dentist to remove these teeth in two sessions. During one of the extraction procedures, the dentist mistakenly removed a tooth which the orthodontist had never mentioned in his extraction orders. As a result, the patient had to be fitted with a bridge. At trial, the plaintiffs presented no expert witness testimony against our insured orthodontist, yet the jury rendered the verdict against both defendants. We plan to file a motion for a new trial on the grounds that the orthodontist had no liability in this case and should have been dismissed before trial as a matter of law. The plaintiff was represented by Allen Brinkley.

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