Madison - St. Clair Record

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Dental patient alleges improper bridge work led to severe pain


By John Breslin | Oct 21, 2019


BELLEVILLE - A dental patient alleges improper bridge work carried out by a now deceased dentist has caused severe pain and suffering, according to a refiled lawsuit naming the executor of the estate and the shuttered practice.

Marsha Holland filed a malpractice suit Aug. 29 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Rebecca Dortch, independent executor of the estate of Dr. Gerald Dortch, who died in 2015, and his former practice, Lincoln Place Dental in Belleville, which was voluntarily dissolved according to Illinois business records.

The suit, alleging medical malpractice, was first filed in December 2018, but dismissed without prejudice in August 2019, which allowed Holland to refile her claims.

An employee at the practice that took over the premises, and telephone number of the deceased dentist said it could not comment on any matters relating to Dortch and Lincoln Place Dental.

According to the suit, Holland was Dortch's patient for 15 years prior to his death. The lawsuit claims that Holland was advised by her dentist in January 2015 that work was needed to replace a bridge that Dortch had previously fitted but which had fallen out.

The bridge was replaced later that month but the plaintiff alleges from February through October 2015 she began to realize something was "wrong with her new bridge due to pain and discomfort she was experiencing."

Before a scheduled October follow-up visit, Holland was told of Dortch's death. She says she went to a different practice for treatment for "the ongoing pain and discomfort" and was told, according to the suit, that the bridge was improperly installed, which caused an abscess above the tooth. Further work had to be carried out to remove and replace a number of teeth, the suit states.

Holland, in her medical malpractice claim against the estate and the practice, alleges failures to properly install the bridge, adequately diagnose an infection, and failure to address problems with the replacement.

Dortch "deviated from the acceptable standard of medical care," according to the complaint, causing the plaintiff severe pain, suffering, and disability, led to medical expenses as she was required to "undergo additional medical procedures" and sustain other damages.

Holland, who is represented by attorney Lloyd M. Cueto of the Law Office of Lloyd M. Cueto in Belleville, seeks more than $50,000 from the estate of the late dentist, plus attorney fees, court costs and all other appropriate relief.

St. Clair County Circuit Court Case number 2019-L-0622

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