€60,000 Dental Negligence Settlement Agreed

A €60,000 dentist negligence compensation claim between a women and her former dentist for in the Circuit Civil Court following a treatment that she said left her afraid to smile.

After the treatment administered to Mrs Roisin Mimnagh, the Court was informed that she had been distraught to find that an incisor tooth had been filed away without her authorization and replaced with an amalgam or composite.

Mrs Mimnagh solicitor, Mr David McParland, told presiding Judge Jacqueline Linnane that his client was someone who was usually happy with her appearance. She had booked an appointment with Dr Anna O’Donovan, Griffith Avenue, Dublin, to have an incisor realigned. He told the Court: “To her horror she afterwards found that her tooth had been filed away and replaced with an amalgam or composite that was smaller and shorter and different from her original tooth”.

Dentist Dr O’Donovan, who was represented in court by Barrister Sarah Corcoran, informed the Judge that her client had submitted a full defence to Ms Mimnagh’s legal action. However they had admitted that written consent for the specific treatment for her tooth had not been received before the procedure. She added that the case before the court was not one of deciding liability but a matter of final assessment of damages.

Some remedial work was completed during 2013 following the initial treatment. Mr McParland said Ms Mimnagh was still wearing an appliance on her tooth. He added that a dental specialist felt that she would need additional realignment work.

Mr McPartland advised Judge Linnane that his client at first thought she was going to have some white filling applied to her tooth to make it look more straight. She was very upset when she later saw it had been filed away and an amalgam or composite replaced it. This left her scared to smile.

Judge Linnane reviewed the pleadings and told the Court that the latest expert report was over three years old. Due to this she said that she would be unable to assess damages as the reports were too old.

Due to this, Judge Linnane suggested some talks should be conducted to try and settle the case. Ms Corcoran advised her that Dr O’Donovan had always shown “a significant willingness” to participate in talks. Mr McParland came back to the Court shortly later to advise the Judge that the case had been settled and could be dismissed with an order for Ms Mimnagh’s legal expenses to be taxed in default of agreement.