The Amazing Dentist: Indianapolis Man To Sue After Dentist Allegedly Removes All Of His Teeth Without His Consent

220px-Lower_wisdom_toothThe Amazing Family Dental office certainly seems to deliver on its promise. Christopher Crist, a 21-year-old autistic man, claims that he went to have three teeth pulled only to find that the dentist pulled them all. That raises not only the possibility of a negligence claim but a battery claim against the dentist in tort.

Crist says that he told the dentist that his mother wanted only three teeth removed. However, he said that the dentist kept going. Notably, reporters say that they have tracked down other former patients who claim to have had whole rows of teeth removed without their permission. It is a bizarre case since it is unclear why a dentist would be inclined to remove more teeth than requested.

As discussed in Mohr v. Williams, 104 N.W. 12 (Minn. 1905), even successful surgeries can be battery without knowing consent. The fact that the patient is autistic could raise an added dimension if the dentist argues consent. Crist says that he conveyed the direct instructions of his mother on the number of teeth to be pulled. There is also the claim of a pattern with other patients which could lead to an admissibility issue. Before then, there will be clearly some intense depositions ahead for both sides. In the very least, the dentist needs to confirm consent more carefully with an individual with limited mental capacity or a mental disability.

If there was no consent, the damages would be interesting. It clearly includes pain and suffering which continues with having no teeth. Then there is the possibility of punitive damages. Such damages remain rare, but this would seem a good case for them if these allegations are proven.

The case could direct some needed attention on the state’s ridiculously low punitive damage cap, which was the subject of a recent controversy. Indiana caps punitive awards at $50,000 cap. The state then gets a three-quarter share, which goes to a fund that helps victims of violent crime. It is a law that protects the worst of tortfeasors, particularly companies and corporate violators. By limiting damages, the state makes it difficult to secure contingency counsel in difficult cases and makes some injuries as little more than a cost of doing business.

In the Indiana case, a judge had had enough in a case where a man sued for abuse by a Catholic priest and his uncle. The judge refused to reduce the $150,000 punitive award and then refused the demand of the state for its 75 percent cut. The state has appealed to the state supreme court.

Cases like these highlight the gross unfairness to litigants in facing these caps, which have not even been increased to reflect higher costs over the decades.

Source: New York Daily News

15 thoughts on “The Amazing Dentist: Indianapolis Man To Sue After Dentist Allegedly Removes All Of His Teeth Without His Consent”

  1. The reason they call it the Amazing Family Dental is when you go in the office it’s amazing how fast your teeth disappear. Don’t put this guy in political office because he might pass a law that all people in Indiana will have to get their teeth removed. He won’t but everyoneelse will. I quess this is the new serial killer of the future. Jack The Ripper, The Boston Strangler, John Wayne Gasey, Ted Bundy and The Indiana Extractor. Don’t get teeth pulled in Indiana because there’s a tooth bandit on the loose. I thought things like this only happened to us hillbillies.

  2. Why is a cap on punitive damages unfair to the injured? It only affects funds which are, in effect, fines for misconduct. It is an amount added to the amount determined by the jury to fully compensate the injured for his injuries. They are intended to function as punishment and deterrent for the benefit of society as a whole-not as compensation for a specific injury.

  3. My half blind guy for whom I am guide dog goes to an investment club. It is a group of old farts who put some money into a pot and do stock market investment. The dentist in the group is the wealthiest guy who has all sorts of real estate properties and a nice expensive car. He is shrewd about stocks. He was wrong about Enron which he wanted to buy. The group said no to Enron. Right now he likes Cisco. Time will tell. I dont think I would want him looking at teeth that had gold in them already.

  4. I think you should know your dentist better. Try to research online about its medical history or review from other people. Don’t let dentist like this take your wonderful smile away.

  5. How could any dentist in his or her right mind just start pulling all of their patient’s teeth without a very clear and concise waiver and directions? Indiana has a 75% tax on any punitive damage awards? Wow. Does Boehner know about that?

  6. Much of modern dentistry is a scam. Dentists will never tell you which minerals you need to resist (and RESTORE) tooth decay, as well as diet to protect from dental scourges. They LOVE it when you need “treatment.” And they all sing the same tune. Prostitutes have much better integrity.

  7. That’s numbing…..

    Mespo,

    What does the book of Stu Pid have to offer….

  8. we moved to Fl at one time so I had to change dentists. The new dentist built a very expensive new office about a year after I started to see him. The first time I visited for a check up I had the most painful exam I have ever undergone – it was torture and I bleed a lot. The dentist walks in an say “You need root planing in all 4 quadrants”. Never having heard of it a I asked what that was. He said “Don’t worry, your insurance pays for it!”

    I called my old dentist back in the civilized world and discussed the exam with him & he told me I didn’t need that work. I found a new dentist & had a normal exam with no recommendation for root planing.

    Some dentists may be more interested in your insurance than in you

  9. The jury should award “biting rights” to the plaintiff and allow plaintiff to bring in his dogpac and do the biting right there in the courtroom in front of the jury, the Lard, and everyone.

  10. Why would this Indian state put a cap on a lawsuit involving a pulled tooth? You can not put a cap on a tooth that does not exist.

  11. “A stitch in time, saves nine.” And why would you give this dentist a battery in exchange for some tart? If he is messing around with some hooker she certainly is not going to trade services for some battery. Especially if you give it to him. The photo of the tooth demonstrates one thing. Seen one, ya seen em all. If I was the guy I would knock the dentist down and bite him with my false teeth. If they arrested me I would plead false arrest.

  12. Punitive damage caps are get out of jail card for the worst of the worst. They were put in place to punish victims who have gall to sue corporations and others that are preferred by the state over harmed human beings.

    This dentist should have to pay damages including long term damages to reflect the problems caused by the loss of teeth as well as immediate pain and suffering and detail care. I hope the judge ignores the cap. The police should arrest the dentist and he should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law including any creative charges that could be brought. The dentist should also lose his license.

  13. Cases like these highlight the gross unfairness to litigants in facing these caps, which have not even been increased to reflect higher costs over the decades.”

    Indeed.

    One can also wonder how much gun violence is triggered by these mistreatements.

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