Attorneys Hold Medical Personnel Accountable in Court
Personal injury lawyers, Todd Kelly and Scott Crivelli won a case involving a minor whose permanent tooth was removed by a negligent dentist, deforming the little girl’s smile.
A 9-year-old minor went to the dentist in January 2011 to extract two teeth. One of the teeth removed was found to be a secondary tooth. Although the dentist struggled to remove the tooth, no further testing was done to be sure of the extraction. The dentist relied on six-month-old x-rays. At the client’s age, the primary teeth were still falling out, making it necessary to run more tests and x-rays for her new dental layout.
“People understand that when their child is hurt by another, that the other person should pay for that harm. Too many times in Texas, we are quick to dismiss the neglect and carelessness of those in the medical profession because we put them above the law,” said Kelly. “They should not be – as one of our jurors said before this trial started, because they are entrusted with our very health, we SHOULD hold them to a higher standard.”
If a permanent tooth is removed, it may be replanted within 30 minutes. According to court documents, the dentist did not mention his mistake to the parent and postponed facing the problem that could have been prevented.
The client will have to undergo up to ten years of treatment to replace the tooth after several painful and complicated procedures. Even then, these procedures may not be a 100% fix to her condition.
According to Craig Carlson, managing partner of The Carlson Law Firm, many attorneys shy away from dental cases due to the difficulty to prove fault and lower value. The attorneys at The Carlson Law Firm decided to pursue the case and fight for the little girl to have her smile back.
“I took the case because I have a young daughter and I would be livid if a doctor did to her what this one did to our client. I suspected a jury would too,” said Crivelli. “Doctors are not infallible, and when they hurt someone, they must admit their mistakes and ultimately fix what they broke.”
The talent and teamwork of the lawyers made it possible for the little girl to reach justice for her pain and suffering. “Ultimately, no case will be successful if you don’t put the time, preparation and soul into it that it deserves,” said Crivelli.
Crivelli and Kelly took the case to court and the verdict was made in their favor of $345,000.
“This verdict was just, and it sent a message to others in Collin County about how children there should be treated by the physicians responsible for the welfare of their children,” said Kelly.
- Written by Jill Fowler