SOUTHAMPTON HOSPITAL TRUST PAYS OUT FIVE FIGURES IN TEETH REMOVAL FIASCO
An NHS Trust in Southampton has agreed to pay £10,000 in compensation to a former patient after they removed nearly all of his teeth as a child, stunting his tooth development and leaving him needing extensive corrective treatment as an adult.
Electrical apprentice Tony Sweeney, 22 successfully sued the University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust after they removed 11 healthy teeth unnecessarily and without his mother’s knowledge when he was eight years old.
His mother Helen Zeederberg explained: “I took Tony to the Trust in February 1999 to have one of his teeth removed after our family dentist advised us to do so. I was really nervous when the consultants told me they’d have to take out an extra tooth and put him under general anaesthetic because he was so young.
“When he came out of surgery with 11 teeth missing, I was not only furious with the consultants, I couldn’t believe my eyes. I just couldn’t understand how they could remove so many teeth without my consent. I was horrified.”
Tony was toothless until 2002 when his permanent teeth came through
Tony decide to seek advice from leading dental negligence solicitors, the Dental Law Partnership (DLP) because he was still suffering complications as a result of his operation in 1999.
Evidence provided to Tony’s lawyer, Jonathan Owen, from DLP, showed that the Trust had taken out 11 of his teeth completely unnecessarily.
Jonathan explained: “Tony was left with the majority of his teeth missing because of a serious breach of duty by the Trust. They did not put forward a reasonable explanation for their wholly negligent actions because there is no justification. The level of settlement reflects the severity of the consequences.
“Tony will now have to undergo extensive remedial treatment because of what happened to him as a child.”
Tony ended: “I still can’t believe this happened to me. It’s affected my whole life and I am really self-conscious now. The compensation will help me to do something about the damage they caused. I can’t wait to put it all behind me.”
The University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust admitted liability for a breach of duty in extracting Tony’s teeth.