Kentucky Dentist Sued After Dropping Screwdriver in Mouth of Patient Who Then Swallowed It

I am going to go out on the limb and say that Lena David, 71, has a solid torts case. David was in the dentist chair in Lexington when Dr. W.B. Galbreath allegedly dropped a screwdriver in her mouth. She then swallowed it. That’s right, swallowed it and had to have a surgery to have it removed.

With the exception of a claim that David gobbled down a screwdriver on her own, it is pretty hard to see the defense against a negligence claim. What is more bizarre is the failure of Galbraith to settle the claim. A lawsuit has now been filed including x-rays showing the screwdriver. This seems the ultimate expression of res ipsa loquitur. Some things just speak for themselves.

The lawsuit says that Galbreath was cleaning her dental implants when he dropped the screwdriver. He allegedly told David to “gag herself until she vomited” but she could not get herself to force out the tool. Rather than sending her immediately to the emergency room, which would seem prudent given her age, Galbraith sent her to a chiropractor’s office for a x-ray. He then instructed her to try a high fiber diet and look for the screwdriver in her bowel movements. One month later, doctors had to manipulate the screwdriver into the appendix and then perform an appendectomy.

Once again, why hasn’t this been settled? By the time that the jury stops writhing in their chairs, they will be arguing about how high they can go in damages.

Source: Kentucky

21 thoughts on “Kentucky Dentist Sued After Dropping Screwdriver in Mouth of Patient Who Then Swallowed It”

  1. This case was tried to a jury in July of 2013. Defense verdict for Dr. Galbreath in Lexington. Full report in the Kentucky Trial Court Review.

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