Attorneys

Dentist leaves broken needle, verdict for 365 Thousand Dollars

Dentist Left Broken Needle in Man's Mouth after Tooth Surgery

Dentist — Negligent Treatment

VERDICT (P) $365,000

INJURIES/DAMAGES dental; sinus

Then claimed that after the surgery he experienced breathing

FACTS & ALLEGATIONS: Plaintiff presented to Dr. Victoria Ippolito at her office in the Bronx, N.Y. He complained that he was having eating difficulty and slight discomfort due to his No. 3 molar tooth. Ippolito took a periapical X-ray and referred Then to Dr. Phillip Artenberg for an extraction.

Artenberg performed the extraction in reliance of the periapical X-ray and his own clinical examina.tion. While suturing the area of the extraction after the surgery, a suture needle broke. Artenberg could not locate the missing part of the needle. He located the needle in an X-ray, but he could not locate it clinically. He finished closing the wound and decided to discharge then and wait to remove the needle when the swelling was reduced at a later date. Plaintiff presented to the emergency room of New York Presbyterian Hospital. He was found to be stable and was discharged. He subsequently developed pain, breathing difficulty and headaches. The needle was removed via a Caldwell-Luc procedure, an extensive surgery in which the maxillary sinus was opened by way of incision to remove the needle.

Plaintiff sued Artenberg, Ippolito and New York Presbyterian Hospital. He claimed that he should have been admitted for removal of the needle, and that an oral-surgery consultation should have been made at that time.$15,000 past loss of services $75,000
St. Paul Insurance Co. for Phillip Artenberg

RESULT The plaintiffs reached a $10,000 settlement with New York Presbyterian Hospital. The action against Ippolito was dismissed at the conclusion of the plaintiffs' case. The jury awarded the plaintiffs a total of $365,000 against Artenberg.
Editor's note: The plaintiffs and Artenberg agreed to a $400,000/$40,000 high/low agreement during jury deliberations.
$50,000 past medical cost
$300,000 past pain and suffering $350,000

Trial Length: 3 weeks
Jury Deliberations: 1.25 hours

St. Paul Insurance Co. for Phillip Artenberg
Trial Length: 3 weeks
Jury Deliberations: 1.25 hours
Jury Poll: 6-0
Dr. Norman Cranin, oral surgery, Brooklyn, NY

PLAINTIFF'S ATTORNEYS: Roseberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP.,

DEFENSE ATTORNEY(S)

Stephen M. Knudsen, Squires, Cordrey & Noble, New York, NY (Phillip Artenberg) Patricia A. Luca, Rochman, Platzer, Fallick, Stemheim, Luca & Pearl, L.L.P., New York, NY (New York Presbyterian Hospital)
Benjamin A. Shatzky, Peitz & Walker, New York, NY (Victoria Ippolito)

Arthur Elias, M.D., oral surgery, New York, NY
Leigh Jay Lachman, M.D., otolaryngology, New York, NY
EDITOR'S NOTE The attorney for Phillip Artenberg did not contribute to this report.