ARTICLE ID 29758
- DENTAL MALPRACTICE - ALLEGED NEGLIGENT DENTAL CARE PROVIDED BY DEFENDANT - PLAINTIFF DEVELOPS NUMEROUS PROBLEMS POST-TREATMENT AS A RESULT OF ALLEGED SUBSTANDARD CARE.
Los Angeles County, California
This lawsuit was initiated by the female plaintiff Multiple
Sclerosis sufferer, age 28 when she initially presented to the
defendant dentist for a consultation to discuss the possible
removal of her amalgam fillings. The plaintiff contended that the
defendant provided her with substandard dental treatment in the
months which followed her initial presentation, causing her to
require further dental care and to develop numerous problems. The
plaintiff additionally asserted that the defendant perpetrated a
fraud upon her by giving her false hopes of a cure for her
The plaintiff initially presented to the defendant on December
16, ________, with nine amalgam fillings ("silver fillings"). The
plaintiff testified that she had previously heard of multiple
sclerosis victims whose symptoms improved following removal of
their amalgam fillings (amalgam fillings contain mercury). The
plaintiff claimed that the defendant, a general dentist licensed
to practice acupuncture, persuaded her to have her amalgams
removed with the understanding that her multiple sclerosis
condition would improve.
Thereafter, the defendant proceeded to conduct numerous and
allegedly unnecessary pre-treatment testing. The testing included
the use of electro-acupuncture devices(EAV and Vega Instrument),
a Jerome Mercury Vapor Analyzer kit, and a volt meter purchased
from the Radio Shack to measure oral galvanic current.
Additionally, the defendant had ordered blood withdrawn from the
plaintiffs arm by an individual who was not a dentist, physician
or registered nurse. The plaintiff claimed that the individual
was not licensed to withdraw blood and that in ordering that
procedure, the defendant was practicing medicine without a
license. The defendant eventually removed all nine of the plaintiffs
amalgam fillings and replaced them with plastic composites. The
plaintiffs experts claimed that all of the defendants dental
restorations were bulbous and poorly contoured. Additionally, the
plaintiffs expert claimed that the defendant left decay under
all the restorations, in violation of accepted dental practice.
The defendant also extracted tooth number 21 (lower left
bicuspid). The plaintiffs experts claimed that because the
plaintiff had no complaints of pain associated with the tooth and
because there was no radiographic evidence suggesting the
necessity for extraction, removal of the tooth should not have
During the plaintiffs initial visit, she had stated that she was
reactive to cheap earrings and watches. This information, coupled
with the defendants testing of the upper four anterior crowns
led the defendant to believe that the upper front anterior crowns
contained nickel, a toxic/allergenic metal. The defendant removed
the plaintiffs upper anterior crowns and replaced them with
temporary crowns. The plaintiffs experts testified that the p 7 3
temporary crowns were permitted to remain in the plaintiffs far
too long before they were replaced with permanent crowns. The
plaintiffs expert subsequent treating dentist testified that
when he examined the plaintiff on July 26, ________, the gingival
area around the upper anterior crowns was "terribly inflamed,
edematous, cyanotic, bleeding." The subsequent treating dentist
replaced the temporary crowns with permanent crowns and later
replaced five of the defendants restorations with crowns, while
redoing the remaining four restorations with plastic composites.
Finally, the plaintiff contended that the defendant perpetrated a
fraud upon her in that he: billed the plaintiff for performing a
prophylaxis which he never did; billed for a surgical procedure
he never performed; billed for four upper anterior crowns which
he never provided; and used substandard techniques which included
the placement of magnets on the plaintiffs lower extremities to
control jaw pain.
The defendant denied negligence and maintained that all of the
care and treatment provided the plaintiff was within the standard
of care of a dentist licensed to practice acupuncture. The
defendant also claimed that blood withdrawn from the
plaintiff (for serum dentist material compatibility testing),
injections of Procaine into the tonsillar fossa (acupuncture
neural therapy), infusion I.V. Vitamin C, and use of
electroacupuncture magnets, a mercury vapor analyzer, the EAV
dermatron and Vega biofeedback instrument were all legitimate
screening and treatment modalities within the practice of
dentistry as performed by a licensed acupuncturist. The defendant
further claimed that any errors in billing were of a clerical
The plaintiff contended that she incurred approximately $________ in
subsequent dental care and treatment which included placement of
four upper anterior crowns, five posterior crowns and repair of
four of the nine plastic composites placed by the defendant. The
plaintiff claimed irreversible loss of tooth number 21,
development of TMJ problems, and sensitivity to hot and cold
following extraction of tooth number 21. The plaintiff
additionally claimed exacerbation of her multiple sclerosis
resulting from the stress of the defendants procedures and the
necessity to undergo subsequent repair of his work. The plaintiff
requested more than $________ in compensatory damages. Punitive
damages were also claimed against the defendant for his alleged
fraudulent exploitation of the plaintiff by means of
"pseudomedical treatment, voodoo magic and hocus pocus."
During various Mandatory Settlement Conferences, the plaintiffs
demand was $________. Just prior to trial, the plaintiff filed a
Statutory Offer to Compromise in the sum of $________. During jury
deliberation, the plaintiffs demand was reduced to $________.
Immediately before trial, the defendant consented to settlement
in the sum of $________. That offer was withdrawn following the
Mandatory Settlement Conference. The defendant refused to
negotiate settlement after commencement of trial. The jury found
for the defendant. Defendants expert general dentist licensed to
practice acupuncture: Edward Arana from Carmel, Ca. Defendants
expert oral surgeon: Eric Hars from Long Beach, Ca. Defendants
expert periodontist: Ronald Barbanell from Long Beach, Ca. Judith p 7 3
Blaszczyk vs. Vaughn T. Harada, D.D.S. Case no. WEC ________ ________;
Judge Sarah Radin, 2-25-92. Attorneys for plaintiff: Sydney L.
Binstock and Yvonne Binstock of the Law Offices of Sydney L.
Binstock, D.D.S, J.D. in Los Angeles; Attorney for defendant:
Robert L. Banfield of Veatch, Carlson, Grogan & Nelson in Los
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