Bacliff woman's malpractice suit blames dentist for facial abscess

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Feb. 18, 2009, 4:24pm

Jared Woodfill

GALVESTON – Some people are scared to see the dentist, but one Bacliff woman claims a trip to the dentist resulted in a week-long stay in the hospital.

Martha Day's medical malpractice lawsuit against Dr. Jack Shelton, which was filed in Galveston County District Court on Feb. 11, alleges a procedure performed in February 2007 sent her to the hospital for a week.

The suit also faults emergency room physicians Drs. Daniel Yul Kim and James C. Grant for improper treatment and diagnosis.

Court papers say the plaintiff saw Dr. Shelton to have two fillings done. The defendant subsequently prescribed her painkillers and antibiotics.

An undisclosed condition prompted Day to go to the emergency room where Drs. Kim and Grant treated her.

Shortly after she was discharged, the plaintiff was admitted for periapical abscess, cellulitis of the face, and unspecified dental ailments, the suit says.

It adds a large mandibular region abscess extended into her face; the area had to be drained under general anesthesia.

"The plaintiff spent a week in the hospital before being discharged," the original petition says.

The defendants are summarily accused of negligence and gross negligence.

"Dr. Skelton failed to properly obtain Day's medical history, assess her condition, prepare a treatment plan, obtain informed consent, and implement procedures which if performed correctly would have resulted in minimal discomfort for the plaintiff," the complaint says.

"Drs. Kim and Grant failed to properly diagnose Day's condition as well as prepare a treatment plan and implement which if performed correctly would have resulted in minimal discomfort for her."

Consequently, Day seeks damages for what the suit describes as conscience pain and suffering. She also demands a jury trial.

Houston attorney Jared R. Woodfill is representing the plaintiff.

The case has been assigned to Galveston County 56th District Court Judge Lonnie Cox.

Case No. 09CV0184

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