Hagins v. Miller, No. 215/2011 (N.Y., Westchester Co. Sup. Oct. 3, 2012).
Harold Hagans, 42, consulted general dentist William Moody, complaining of a toothache. Moody tried three times to remove Hagans’s lower wisdom tooth; however, these attempts were unsuccessful because the tooth’s roots were fused together. A few hours after returning home, Hagans was admitted to a hospital. Oral surgeon Michael Miller diagnosed air emphysema and residual wisdom tooth roots, and subsequently removed the remaining roots. About four weeks later, Hagans was diagnosed as having a transected lingual nerve and a mandibular fracture.
Hagans suffered chronic pain, necessitating implantation of a motor cortex stimulator in his brain. A contract engineer earning about $75,000 annually, he has not returned to work.
Hagans sued Moody and Miller, alleging failure to timely refer him to a maxillofacial surgeon. Suit also charged that Miller had severed the lingual nerve.
The jury awarded about $7.66 million.
Plaintiff counsel: AAJ member Christopher Meagher and Merryl Weiner, both of White Plains, N.Y.