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Hartford Superior Court

In this medical malpractice action, a woman sued her dentist after a botched root canal left her in constant pain. The suit was resolved by a jury after the defendant denied breaching the standard of care.

On March 15, ________, the plaintiff underwent a root canal operation conducted by her dentist, Darryl S. of defendant, Farmington Family Dentistry. As a result of the dentist’s using too large a file, the procedure created an excessive hole that was also too deep. When the dentist applied sealer to the canal, the gun cartridge forced the sealer into the mandibular canal, where it compressed the inferior alveolar nerve. As a result, the plaintiff now suffers from persistent, incurable pain that has impacted every aspect of her life. The plaintiff now takes medication that reduces the pain, though it does not eliminate it. The plaintiff also experiences fatigue due to the pain, as well as her medication, resulting in a change to her work habits.

The plaintiff filed suit in the Superior Court of Hartford County, Connecticut against Farmington Family Dentistry and Dr. Darryl S. The plaintiff sought recovery of damages for medical expenses, pain, and suffering, and other damages. The defendant denied breaching the standard of care. The plaintiff’s final settlement demand was for $________. The defendant’s highest settlement offer was $________.

At trial, the plaintiff showed x-rays of the sealer in the mandibular canal, and stated that treatment for the injury requires either cutting the nerve, or attempting to have the sealer removed from the canal. Both options, the plaintiff argued, come with tremendous risk that no surgeon has recommended.

The defense expert asserted that the dentist did not breach the standard of care, and that the sealer had flowed out of the apex of the tooth (a natural opening at the base of the tooth) and down into the mandibular canal due to an erosion of the bone created by an infection. However, the expert acknowledged that of the ________ root canals he performed in his 40-year career, approximately ________ clients had the same infection before the root canal as the plaintiff, and none had a result close to what the plaintiff experienced. The defense expert explained the discrepancy as "One of Mother Nature’s quirks."

The plaintiff asked the jury for between $________ and $________.The jury returned a finding for the plaintiff. The plaintiff was awarded $________ in damages, including $________ in non-economic damages for four years of prior pain, and 40 years of future pain.

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