Texas dentist wins defamation suit against former office manager

A Texas dentist has won a defamation lawsuit against a former office manager who had accused the dentist of improper billing practices.

Texas dentist Sweeta Walia, DMD, of Premier Family Dental of Plano, won a judgment against former office manager Shelly Hamnett, who did not appear for an August 2014 court date.

A judge in Collin County awarded Dr. Walia $35,000 in damages and an additional $20,000 to compensate for future reputation damages. Dr. Walia was also awarded an additional $5,000 for mental anguish now and $5,000 for future mental anguish.

The ruling states that the court found "Hamnett published ... false statements" and "disparaged the business" of Dr. Walia.

Dr. Walia was contacted for comment via email, but had not responded at press time.

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