A Norfolk jury awarded $3 million plus more than four years of pre-judgment interest to a dental patient who was gravely injured due to the negligence of a local dentist.
The verdict followed a seven day civil trial in February, 2016.
Keith Riddick, 63, of Virginia Beach, developed a “deep space” infection following a routine tooth extraction in July, 2010.
Moody Law Firm attorney Mike Davis, who represented Mr. Riddick, explained that the defendant dentist failed to appreciate the patient’s symptoms of an ongoing infection and did not prescribe an antibiotic either before or after the extraction procedure. The dentist’s negligence in failing to diagnose and treat the localized infection permitted it to spread and ultimately develop into necrotizing fasciitis, a rare, flesh-eating bacteria that is fatal in approximately 40% of reported cases.
Mr. Riddick was hospitalized for more than two months while doctors treated his infection and performed multiple procedures to remove dead tissue from his neck and chest. He survived, but was rendered permanently disabled from his career job as a merchant seaman and must now eat through a feeding tube. The verdict is believed to be the largest reported award for dental malpractice ever rendered in the Commonwealth of Virginia.