Woman 'afraid to smile after dental treatment' settles €60k claim
A Co Dublin housewife, who was afraid to smile following a treatment to one of her teeth, has claimed she had been horrified to find an incisor had been filed away without her consent and replaced with an amalgam or composite.
Fifty-year-old Roisin Mimnagh, of Marina Village, Malahide, settled a €60,000 negligence claim against her former dentist for an undisclosed sum in the Circuit Civil Court.
David McParland, counsel for Mimnagh, told Judge Jacqueline Linnane that his client was someone who took pride in her appearance and had gone to Dr Anna O’Donovan, Griffith Avenue, Dublin, to have an incisor realigned.
"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," Mr McParland said.
Barrister Sarah Corcoran, counsel for Dr O’Donovan, said her client had entered a full defence to Ms Mimnagh’s claim but had conceded that written consent to the specific remedy for her tooth had not been obtained prior to the treatment.
Ms Corcoran, who appeared with Anne Marie Browne of Hayes Solicitors, told Judge Linnane that the case before the court was not one of deciding liability but a matter of assessing damages.
Judge Linnane said she had read the pleadings and had found that the latest expert report was more than three years old.
Some remedial work had been carried out in 2013 shortly after the initial treatment.
Mr McParland said Ms Mimnagh was still wearing an appliance on her tooth and one of the experts who had examined her had reported she would need further realignment work.
He said she had initially believed she was going to have some white filling applied to her tooth to make it look straighter. She felt bitter and shocked when she later discovered it had been filed away and an amalgam or composite put on it. She was afraid to smile.
Mr McParland said Ms Mimnagh had personally sourced an orthodontist who had given her an estimate for more than €5,000 to realign her tooth but agreed with Ms Corcoran that this estimate had applied to the provision of treatment to all of her teeth including an appointment with a hygienist.
When Judge Linnane said she would be unable to assess damages on the basis of outdated expert reports, Ms Corcoran said Dr O’Donovan had found the ongoing proceedings gravely distressing and had expected the matter to be disposed of without further delay.
Judge Linnane said Ms Mimnagh’s specialist had not been aware of any of the facts of the case before the court and it appeared he had just been asked for a treatment estimate.
The judge said Ms Mimnagh had sourced the specialist herself because she had wanted remedial action to her tooth but nothing had been done in almost three years.
When talks about possibly settling the case was suggested by Judge Linnane, the court was told by Ms Corcoran that Dr O’Donovan had always had “a significant willingness” to deal with the case.
A short time later Mr McParland said the case had been settled and could be struck out with an order for Ms Mimnagh’s legal costs to be taxed in default of agreement.
The amount of the settlement was not disclosed in court.