Case Study – Patient Y vs. Dr. D1 & Company D2 [2019] MLJU 1535

The lawsuit is based on an allegation of professional negligence by a minor who is a 4-year-old child, represented by her father as her next friend, against two defendants: a dental practitioner (D1) and the company that owns the dental clinic (D2).



During a dental visit, the plaintiff, accompanied by her mother and grandfather, declined to open her mouth for treatment. In response, D1, the dental practitioner, recommended that the plaintiff undergo surgery under general anesthesia. Following the procedure, the plaintiff’s mother observed swelling on the right side of her mouth and lips, and the plaintiff was in tears.

The plaintiff claims that she was injured during her treatment due to the negligence of the dentist (D1) who used a malfunctioning dental handpiece. The plaintiff alleges that D1 failed to exercise proper care before the procedure and did not offer any alternative treatment options. As a result of this negligence, the plaintiff claims to have suffered permanent scarring and disfigurement, thus she is seeking compensation for damages. The plaintiff also holds the clinic owner (D2) vicariously liable for D1’s actions or negligence.



The plaintiff appealed to the High Court after the Sessions Court dismissed her claim and ordered her to pay the costs. However, the High Court upheld the decision of the Sessions Court, affirming that D1, the dental practitioner, was not negligent in the injury caused by the malfunctioning dental handpiece.



This dental malpractice case study serves as a stark reminder of the potential risks and liabilities that dental professionals may encounter during their careers. While the pursuit of excellence and unwavering commitment to patient care should always be at the forefront of a dentist’s practice, it is also essential to recognize the importance of protecting one’s career and financial security.

In the ever-evolving landscape of dentistry, an indemnity protection plan is a prudent choice for those who seek to practice with confidence, resilience, and a commitment to the highest standards of patient care. We encourage all dental professionals to explore the protection plans available and make informed decisions to protect your future.


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