Spaniard with metal allergy wins record €2.5 million case against reckless dentist

The Local Spain
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Spaniard with metal allergy wins record €2.5 million case against reckless dentist
Stock photo: AFP

A Spanish woman who warned a Barcelona dentist she was allergic to metal before having a cobalt prosthesis implanted in her mouth has won her case against the careless practitioner.


The incident took place back in 2007 when the 38-year-old woman visited the dentist in question to address a problem with her teeth. 

She warned staff at the Vitaldent clinic in the Catalan town of Montcada i Reixac that she was allergic to all metals, “in person and on record”, regional daily El Periodico reported on Wednesday.

But the prosthodontist took little notice of her patient’s remarks, proceeding instead to implant a chrome-cobalt prosthesis in her mouth without giving her any information first about the procedure.

Soon after leaving the clinic, the metal-allergic woman began to experience infections, headaches, slurred speech and problems while chewing and swallowing.

When she went back to the clinic to ask for answers, the naïve dentist told the woman “you just have to get used to it”.

The prosthesis was eventually removed from the ailing patient’s mouth, but the long-lasting effects of the metal infection forced her to quit her job and left her in a state of “living death”.

Barcelona’s Provincial High Court confirmed on Thursday that the accused dentist and her insurer (Mapfre) would have to pay €884,937 plus interests, which balloons the figure up to €2.5 million as the negligent incident took place 11 years earlier.

The judge also handed the practitioner a suspended six month prison sentence, ruling that she “had completely omitted” the woman’s warnings from her initial declarations and had carried out no testing or prosthetic alternative “to ensure the patient’s safety”.

“This sentence is a warning to health franchises that don’t take medical safety seriously and use sensationalist ads without actually offering a proper service,” the plaintiff’s lawyer Javier Leive Mendez is quoted as saying by El Periodico.

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