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Malpractice suits filed against dentists

July 9, 2012 | 2 min read

A Carson City, Nevada, man involved in a dental medical malpractice case is unable to collect settlement money from his former dentist’s insurer after the doctor failed to report his medical malpractice allegations.

According to the Las Vegas Sun, Glenn Williams lost his job after he tested positive for cocaine in his system. However, contended that his former dentist, Dr. Hamid Ahmadi, used street cocaine as a pain reliever during his root canal surgery.

The source reports that Williams had been working as a union truck driver for 20 years without any issues prior to the incident. Following Williams’ surgery, Dr. Ahmadi was arrested in California for possession of two ounces of cocaine and charged with drug trafficking. His license to practice in Nevada was suspended and he was arrested in Washington state for prescribing painkillers to himself under fake patient names.

After discovering the multiple charges against his dentist, Williams decided to file a malpractice case. However, Ahmadi allegedly failed to acknowledge the suit until his malpractice policy expired on April 14, 2004.

Although the district court favored Williams’ case against the insurer, the state’s Supreme Court recently ruled against it. In the court’s opinion, Justice Kristina Pickering Williams wrote that a coverage claim has to be made and reported within a policy period, which prevents Williams from ever collecting a $480,260 settlement.

The Ahmadi case is certainly not the only instance of alleged dental malpractice in the western region. A California dentist was recently found guilty of medical malpractice after reports surfaced that she had been performing substandard procedures on her patients. According to OC Weekly, Dr. Sherri Lee Worth lost the malpractice suit after one of her patients had issues after surgery.

According to the source, after noticing the pain, the woman, Ingrid Valdez, consulted five other dentists hoping to figure out the issue. Each of the dentists suggested that Valdez undergo surgeries to fix the damage caused by Worth. Valdez went through eight additional root canals and two gum surgeries to fix the damage Worth had done to her mouth.

During the trial, the source reports that Worth said the damage was caused by irritation from the cement used to secure crowns on Valdez’s teeth. However, arbitrator Joseph Thielen found Worth’s medical charts had been tampered with, and Orange County Superior Court Judge Geoffrey Glass ordered Worth to pay Valdez $641,542 for pain and suffering, economic loss and general damages.

Barry Cosgrove, Valdez’s husband, told the source that Worth’s case will be remembered forever.

“This case is being used in dental schools and ethics classes on what not to do in dentistry,” Cosgrove said.