A woman, who claimed her dental treatment had been negligent and resulted in years of pain and suffering, has won her claim and been awarded £211,000 in a dentist negligence litigation case.
Esther Hammond (61), made her dental negligence claim against dental surgeon Brendan Bastible from whom she had first been treated in May 1991 for a loose crown that had been fitted by a different dentist.
Mr Bastible had treated Ms Hammond for the loose crown, filled some cavities in other teeth and treated her for the gum disease periodontitis. However, it was when Mr Bastible put braces to her upper jaw in November 1991, and bottom jaw in 1993, that Esther’s issues began.
The judge was also told that the wires which held the braces together regularly snapped, causing lacerations within Esther’s mouth which resulted in significant pain and affected her day to day life. Esther also said that her dental maladies also affected her relationship with her family and led to psychological problems, which still persist today.
Expert witnesses told the court that the fitting of the braces was inappropriate at the time and Esther’s legal representatives advised the judge that Mr Bastible was not qualified to perform orthodontic treatment of this nature. It was also confirmed by a medical expert that it would take around five more years of dental treatment until the physical damage done by Mr Bastible would be eradicated.
In telling the court his judgement, Mr Justice John Quirke stated that he was satisfied that the treatment Esther was given was indeed negligent and that it fell below the standards required of a practicing dental surgeon. He awarded Esther £140,000 in general damages, £41,000 to take future pain and suffering into account while undergoing remedial treatment and £29,000 to compensate for past and future special damages – a total of £211,000.