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Case Study 4 D's Of Negligence

639 words - 3 pages

A dentist fits several children with braces. The children are regular patients of the dentist. The results for some of the patients turn out to be unacceptable and damaging. There are children who have developed gum infections due to improperly tightened braces. Some mistakenly had their permanent teeth removed, while others have misaligned bites. A local attorney becomes aware of these incidences, looks further into it, and realizes the dentist has not been properly trained and holds no legal license to practice dentistry or orthodontics. The attorney decides to act on behalf of the displeased patients and files a class action lawsuit. The attorney plans to prove the dentist negligent and guilty of dental malpractice by providing proof using the four D’s of negligence. The four D’s of negligence are duty, dereliction, direct cause and damages.
The first component of the four D’s of negligence is duty. The dentist owed a duty of care to every one of his patients. Duty of care is a legal obligation a health care worker, in this case, the dentist, owes to their patient and, at times, non-patients. If actions or omissions within the scope of an orthodontist or dentist’s job could possibly cause harm to the patient, the patient is owed a duty of care. It can be proven the dentist has established a relationship with each of the patients by showing each patient has seen the dentist on more than one occasion, thus titling them as a regular. By making and keeping an appointment with the dentist, the dentist-patient relationship has been established. Showing any documentation, such as charting of dental work, cleanings or x-rays, is also proof.
The second part to the four D’s of negligence is dereliction. The dentist breached the duty of care owed to each patient by failing to act and carry out the dental procedures in a competent and knowledgeable manner. The dentist unsuccessfully...

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