Earlier this year, Rossiter & Boock Attorneys Jamie Boock, and Zach Pancoast, obtained a $2.5 million jury verdict in what is believed to be the largest dental malpractice verdict ever obtained in St. Louis County. The plaintiff, Christina Bojorquez, is a member of the U.S. Navy who now suffers from a voice disorder after her tongue was cut by a dental drill.
On October 12, 2012, Christina was being seen by Dr. Thomas O’Keeffe, a dentist in North St. Louis County to have a tooth prepared to accept a crown. At that time, Dr. O’Keeffe was using a handheld dental drill to taper the edges of Ms. Bojorquez’s tooth. During the course of this procedure he allowed the dental drill to strike the side of Ms. Bojorquez’s tongue, causing a 1.5-centimeter laceration. After cutting her tongue, O’Keefe, referred Ms. Bojorquez to an oral surgeon — but not until after she returned to his office upon noticing the damages while looking in her car’s rearview mirror.
While preparing the case, Mr. Boock was able to obtain testimony from Ms. Bojorquez’s treating physician and speech therapist that the laceration had likely caused a partial injury to her 12th cranial nerve which controls the movement of the tongue. Ms. Bojorquez’s treating physician further testified that this partial nerve damage caused her inability to articulate clearly and that the damage was permanent. The insurer for the defendant refused to make any offer to settle the claim prior to trial.
After a five-day trial in mid-January, the jury sided with Ms. Bojorquez and awarded her $2,500,000 in damages. The award consists of $2 million for future non-economic damages and $500,000 for past non-economic damages. No claim was submitted for either lost wages or medical bills.
Rossiter & Boock, LLC is a St. Louis-based law firm specializing in fiduciary litigation (trust contests, breach of fiduciary duty, related disputes and administration), business litigation and personal injury litigation (medical malpractice, product defects and automobile accidents). With nine full time attorneys and a robust support staff, the firm has the capacity to handle even the most complex legal matters with efficiency and personal service. Learn more at www.rossiterboock.com.