University of Colorado dental school will be sued for wrongfully pulling teeth

Legal news for Colorado medical malpractice attorneys. A severely developmentally disabled woman had almost of all of her teeth extracted.

Medical malpractice attorneys alert- A notice of claim has been sent to the University of Colorado dental school over teeth extractions.

Denver, CO—A “notice of claim” has been filed in behalf of a severely developmentally disabled woman who allegedly had 13 of her 14 teeth pulled without her caregivers consent at the University of Colorado dental school. The lawsuit is seeking $10 million, which claims that dentists “willfully and wantonly” violated Colorado’s dental laws, as reported by the Denver Post.

According to the “notice of claim,” Ida Dunn, 54, went to the University of Colorado dental school to have a deep cleaning of her teeth while under general anesthesia with her foster-care provider, Danuta Tracz. The foster-care providers were told that Dunn would only have a cleaning, and was not advised that any teeth would be pulled. The consent forms that Dunn signed with her stamp, because she is unable to sign her own name due to her disabilities, did not mention any extraction procedures. The pending lawsuit also alleged that Dunn was not issued any prescriptions for narcotic painkillers or antibiotics following the procedure, although the surgery report saying she was given a prescription for Lortab. As a result, Dunn suffered from a fever, aches, and an infection for weeks following the procedure. The notice also says that the residents “failed to obtain Ms. Dunn’s informed consent for the extractions,” which also questions the medical necessity of the extractions. In addition, the notice is inquiring if the dental resident who performed the extraction procedure was supervised by Dr. Paul Bottone, the attending dentist to the case. The resident, Derek Dean, apparently did have his dental license at the time of the procedure, which occurred on September 1st. Dean, who received his Colorado dental license in October, reportedly left a message on Tracz’s answering machine prior to the procedure, which he said he would “call in a prescription for Valium” and give the antibiotic medications during surgery to prevent infections. The prescription was called in under Bottone’s Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) credential number, but it is unclear if Bottone was there during the surgery or approved the prescription.

The pending lawsuit is asking for $10 million in damages, but Colorado’s state cap for legal liability for government employees, which includes public university employees is at $150,000, unless their actions were willful or utterly indifferent.

Legal News Reporter: Nicole Howley-Legal news for Colorado medical malpractice lawyers.