Mich. dentist must pay $400K in malpractice case

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A jury in Michigan found a dentist negligent and ordered him to pay nearly $400,000 in damages to a patient who experienced brain dysfunction and more from complications following a tooth extraction, according to a story published on December 30 in the Daily Telegram.

Dr. Pierre Tedders was ordered on December 1 to pay Trudy Ritchie $387,995.64 in economic and noneconomic damages and interest following a five-day jury trial in Lenawee County Circuit Court, according to the story. Previously, Tedders had a practice in Adrian, MI, but now operates Dr. Tedders Family & Implant Dentistry in Jackson, MI.

Ritchie, who filed her lawsuit in 2017, claimed that Tedders committed malpractice by providing substandard care in the treatment of her oroantral communication, an abnormal space between the oral cavity and maxillary sinus that oral surgeons frequently encounter, especially following upper molar and premolar extractions.

The patient developed the oroantral communication following a tooth extraction in 2015. This abnormality led to Ritchie developing a severe sinus infection that triggered diabetic ketoacidosis, which forces the body to break down fat as fuel.

The ketoacidosis resulted in Ritchie being hospitalized for 17 days. During that time, she was intubated and diagnosed with encephalopathy, respiratory distress, and acute kidney injury, according to the story.   

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