Patient v. Hospital, Attending Prosthodontist and Prosthodontics Resident
Supreme Court, Bronx County
The plaintiff was a young physician who underwent a months-long course of full-mouth dental reconstruction at the hospital’s dental clinic to address badly damaged dentition secondary to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and bruxism (gnashing or grinding of teeth). The plaintiff alleged that the treating prosthodontic resident caused the need for him to subsequently undergo 28 separate root canals by “overpreparing” the teeth for the placement of crowns, that the resident was insufficiently supervised by the director of the residency, that defective equipment was used in the treatment, that the plaintiff was negligently caused to rely on temporary crowns for too long, and that his informed consent for the treatment was not properly obtained. He further alleged that he sustained a lingual nerve injury due to negligent placement of a nerve block injection. We represented all defendants. Following discovery, we moved for summary judgment of all claims, which was granted. In its decision, the court agreed with our argument that the claim for lack of informed consent had gone entirely undefended in the plaintiff’s opposition papers, that the plaintiff had not substantiated with any material evidence his claim of a lingual nerve injury, and that the plaintiff and his expert had failed to sufficiently rebut the opinion of our expert in dentistry and prosthodontics that the complications encountered in the plaintiff’s full-mouth dental reconstruction resulted from his long history of GERD and bruxism, the latter of which had continued throughout the period of the care in controversy, rather than from any departure in the standard of dental or prosthodontic care provided by the defendants to the plaintiff.