Morrison Mahoney partner John Bagley and associate Andrew Lawendowski recently received a finding in favor of their client after an arbitration hearing before Hon. Christopher Muse (Ret.) of Commonwealth Mediation. The plaintiff alleged that our client, an endodontist, was negligent in the performance of a root canal and the care following the procedure. More specifically, the plaintiff alleged that the defendant negligently caused sealer material to extrude through the apex (tip) of the root which caused permanent nerve damage. The plaintiff further alleged that the defendant was negligent in not diagnosing the nerve damage earlier thereby making nerve repair surgery much less likely to be successful.
Our expert endodontist testified that seepage of a small amount of root sealer is a known complication which occurs without negligence and is usually not harmful. However, in this case, the plaintiff’s anatomy was such that the apex of the root extended into the “nerve bundle” which would not be identifiable prior to the procedure. As to the alleged delay, our expert testified that it was reasonable to conclude that the post-operative paresthesia was a side-effect of anesthesia and would resolve over time. He further testified that the delay in nerve repair surgery had no impact on the plaintiff’s surgical result.
After considering the evidence presented by both parties, especially the expert testimony, the Arbitrator found that our client complied with the standard of care in all respects.