Anesthesiologist Lawsuit in Columbia, Maryland | Maryland Malpractice Attorneys

Long v. Howard County Anesthesia Associates

This is a medical malpractice lawsuit alleging that an anesthesiologist and a registered nurse anesthetist negligently broke the patient's tooth while sedating him for knee surgery at Howard County General Hospital.

Summary of Plaintiff's Allegations

This is an anesthesia malpractice lawsuit. A man undergoes a right knee arthroscopy at the Center for Ambulatory Surgery of Howard County General Hospital. Surgery is performed under general anesthesia.

During the removal of the laryngeal mask airway, the anesthesiology team notices that the man's front tooth is cracked and fractured into pieces. As a result, he is forced to undergo multiple dental procedures to restore the lost tooth.

The man files a medical negligence claim in Howard County, alleging that Howard County Anesthesia Associates, an anesthesiologist, and a registered nurse anesthetist violated the standard of care by breaking and damaging his tooth during the administration of anesthesia. As a result, the man has and will be caused to suffer severe mental anguish and emotional pain and suffering. He also has and will be forced to incur dental and other expenses.

The man and his wife also file a loss of consortium claim.

Additional Comments
  • This case was filed with a certificate of merit or expert report. Plaintiffs' attorneys have since filed a motion to extend time to name an expert. In our observation, this path is usually not a harbinger of a viable medical malpractice lawsuit, particularly when the case is filed by respected malpractice attorneys which is the case with this claim.
  • This claim was filed a few months before the statute of limitation was set to expire.
  • Plaintiff's argument is that the applicable standard of practice or care in the performance of general anesthesia (we assume) requires protecting the patient's teeth and jaw to avoid fracturing the teeth. That seems patiently obvious but injury to teeth is a known risk and it can be in the absence of negligence. When a patient emerges from general anesthesia, there are a number of thermoregulatory functions occurring within their body that can cause the patient to shiver and chatter their teeth.
  • It is also equally true that what doctors call a "known risk" can be a known risk in large measure because it is a common complication of medical malpractice.
  • The complaint is vague on the damages and there is no expert report to elucidate. But the Complaint alleges a crack and fractured front tooth as the damages. It would be rare that an injury to a tooth would lead to as economically viable medical malpractice claim (or a loss of consortium claim). The problem is not the lack of negligence but the lack of damages that justify the cost of a malpractice lawsuit. This is why there are few dental malpractice lawsuits.
Jurisdiction
  • Howard County
DefendantsHospitals Involved
  • Howard County General Hospital
Negligence
  • Broke and damaged the man's front tooth
Specific Counts Pled
  1. Negligence
  2. Loss of Consortium
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More Malpractice Claim Information
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