Dentist accused of pulling patient's wrong teeth gets sued

Lawsuit Attorney Gavel Scale

A woman has filed a lawsuit against a dentist in Kentucky for allegedly pulling the wrong teeth and trying to cover up the mistake by falsifying her dental records, according to a story published on May 22 in the Sentinel Echo.

Teresa Black is suing Dr. William Petrey and his practice, William Todd Petrey, DMD, Inc., in London, KY, claiming she experienced severe pain, mental anguish, emotional distress, and extra dental expenses due to his negligence and fraudulent concealment. She is seeking compensation, punitive damages, court costs, and attorney fees.

In April 2023, Black stated in the suit that she went to the practice due to a broken tooth that was causing her pain. She was prescribed an opioid to manage her pain and was given an appointment to have the tooth extracted later that month. However, Black remained in pain leading up to her appointment because she couldn’t take the prescribed medication due to an allergy, which she claimed she had told Petrey, according to the story.

Before the extraction procedure, Black alleged that she signed paperwork consenting to have her broken tooth, tooth #12, and a reportedly decayed tooth, tooth #3, pulled. However, Petrey is accused of extracting teeth #2 and #14, one of which was healthy, according to the story.

Since the broken tooth was still in her mouth, Black remained in pain. Also, it reportedly left her unable to chew solid food. The broken tooth became more decayed, which eventually led to additional breakage and infection. Black alleges that her dental condition had a significant negative effect on her quality of life due to the pain, anxiety, and eating and sleeping problems she experienced, according to the story.

In September 2023, her dental problem reportedly required her to undergo surgery at another dental clinic. Prior to the surgery, a dentist at the clinic informed Black that she needed to undergo cleaning for calcium buildup and other interventions in her mouth before she could have the surgical procedure. She claims that Petrey neither diagnosed nor treated the buildup.

Additionally, Black claims that the records from Petrey's practice showed that her consent form had been altered. The tooth numbers Black had consented to remove (teeth #12 and #3) were crossed out and new numbers were written next to them, which she alleges was an attempt to cover up his negligence, according to the story.

Recently, Petrey's attorney responded to the lawsuit denying the allegations and asking the court to dismiss the suit with prejudice. In the response, Petrey claims that the lawsuit exceeds the statute of limitations and that if Black was injured, it may have been due to a preexisting or undiagnosable condition or injuries resulting from a superseding or intervening cause that the dentist had no control over. Also, Petrey alleges that he acted within the standard of care and Black possibly failed to appropriately mitigate damages, according to the story.

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