Take the scariest and most painful dental procedure known to man and imagine all the ways a dentist might make it even worse. For some Medicaid patients in Fall River, this was precisely their situation when dentist Michael Clair allegedly used sections of paper clips instead of stainless steel posts to do their root canals, reports the Associated Press.
As a result of this mind-boggling act, the dentist is being charged criminally. He pled guilty to defrauding Medicaid, assault and battery, illegally prescribing prescription drugs, and witness intimidation. It turns out that his attempt to do paper clip root canals was an attempt to save money.
What's scary is that according to experts, paper clips should not be left permanently in a root canal as they are made of the wrong material and consistency. One can only wonder what kind of pain someone that had a bad root canal might undergo.
At the least the law affords some remedies for such people. The most likely recompense would be in the form of a medical malpractice lawsuit against Dr. Michael Clair, in a private, civil capacity. This would be a separate proceeding than the criminal action against him. In a criminal action the state pursues punishment against an individual, in a civil action another private citizen seeks redress, usually in the form of damages.
Most medical or dental malpractice cases in Massachusetts proceed under the theory that a medical professional was negligent in treating the patient. To establish medical negligence, an injured patient, the plaintiff, must prove the existence of a duty; the violation of the standard of care that causes a breach of the duty; a relationship between the deviation from standard of care and the patient's injury; and actual injury.
The best person to help you prove these elements, which contain various sub-elements, are local personal injury attorneys. You may ask if they specialize in dental malpractice in the Boston area.