“Holistic” Dentist Sued | Quackwatch
g. robert evans, dmd, who practices groton wellness in groton, massachusetts, has been sued for fraud and negligence by a former patient and her husband. In 2012, when the woman was pregnant, she saw Evans for a routine cleaning. (note: to preserve the couple’s privacy, I refer to them as Mr. and Mrs. b.) The complaint alleges:
- evans advised mrs. b that one of her front teeth was poisoning her developing baby and should be removed.
- the tooth may not have needed extraction and could probably have been saved by other dental methods that evans falsely claimed were toxic.
- after extraction, evans performed a bone graft without ms. consent of b and without prescription of antibiotics, despite having an infection present. she also placed several herbal products in his mouth, one of which was comfrey, a substance that should never be given to pregnant women.
- despite the infection worsening, evans refused to prescribe an antibiotic and refused to see mrs. b her when she returned with symptoms of infection.
- Two operations were required to remove the infected bone, but the infection caused so much damage that ms. b can never have an implant. he also suffered nerve damage that has caused his smile to be permanently crooked.
in 2008, the massachusetts board of registration of dentistry received a complaint from a patient that evans and his wife (also a dentist) treated in 2003 and 2004, when they were part of another dental group. The patient reported that Evans performed cavitation surgery four times, two of which included unnecessary extractions of root canal-treated teeth. In 2010, Evans signed a consent agreement under which he agreed to serve two years on probation and take continuing medical education courses in risk management and diagnosis and treatment planning. the agreement stated that he had practiced outside the scope of dentistry and failed to perform and/or document certain procedures when performing oral surgery. quackwatch has additional details on evans and his clinic.
the community of massachusetts
ms b & Mr. second
dr. gram. Robert Evans, Dr. terrance closures, groton dental wellness center, llp
civil file # ___________
now come the plaintiffs, mr. and mrs. b, by and through his attorneys, hage hodes, p.a., and complaining against the individual defendants, dr. gram. Robert Evans, Dr. terrance shutts and groton dental wellness spa, llp, as follows:
1. plaintiff mrs. b is a person residing at [redacted], milford, massachusetts 01757.
2. plaintiff mr. b is a person who also resides in [redacted], milford, massachusetts 01757 and is mrs. husband of b.
3. dr. gram. robert evans is licensed as a dentist to practice dentistry in the state of massachusetts. His regular place of business is Groton Dental Wellness Center, LLP, 495 Main Street, Groton, Massachusetts 01450.
4. dr. terrance shutts is also a dentist licensed to practice dentistry in the state of massachusetts. His regular place of employment is also Groton Dental Wellness Center, LLP, 495 Main Street, Groton, Massachusetts 014501
5. groton dental wellness center, llp is a massachusetts professional limited liability company with a principal office at 495 main street, groton, massachusetts 01450. dr. evans is their resident agent.
facts common to all charges
6. On or about August 5, 2013, Ms. b went to groton dental wellness for a routine cleaning.
7. while she was there, dr. Evans ordered an x-ray which showed her tooth number 7 was abscessed with a fistula.
8. dr. Evans informed him that this tooth needed to be removed as soon as possible. um. b was quite upset about this since tooth number 7 is a front tooth.
9. um. b had previously had an apicoectomy on this tooth and asked if he could have the apicoectomy again.
10. dr. Evans informed him that apicoectomies, like root canals, in his opinion, should not be performed as they leave toxins in the body that affect the health of the entire body.
11. um. b was in her second trimester of pregnancy at the time and dr. Evans told her that his toxic tooth was slowly poisoning her baby in the womb.
12. um. b had previously seen dr. evans on or about April 23, 2013 to discuss treatment of a different tooth, a molar, tooth number 3.1
1 dr. evan’s record incorrectly indicates that this visit was for tooth number 7. Prior to the 8/5/13 appointment, tooth number 7 had been asymptomatic. dr. evans also wrote this note nearly a year later, after mrs. b requested her medical records in connection with this action.
13. dr. evans explained to mrs. b her stance on “toxic root tracts” in that quote.
14. During your consultation on tooth number 3, dr. Evans told her that instead of taking antibiotics, she should place garlic cloves in the gum over the infected tooth. she followed her instructions and when she sought a second opinion, her gums were burned by the garlic and still infected.
15. dr. evans was aware of mrs. b at the Aug. 5 appointment that she had chosen to have tooth number three removed by an oral surgeon instead of him.
16. when mrs. b told dr. Evans told her that she would like to do the same with tooth number seven, or at least get a second opinion on whether extraction was really necessary, he chided her. he told her that because his previous dental work on tooth number seven contained mercury, he had to be the one to do the removal, as he is specially trained in proper mercury removal to prevent mercury leaching and “poisoning you further.” her and her baby. .” dr. Evans said that a typical oral surgeon would not have this training and would put her and her baby at risk.
17. dr. evans also informed mrs. b that after the extraction she would need to do a bone graft to ensure that she could have an implant in the future.
18. um. b she was not comfortable receiving a bone graft during pregnancy.
19. dr. Evans told him that if he did not have the bone graft at the same time as the extraction, he would not be able to have an implant.
20. um. b explained to dr. Evans that when his number three tooth was extracted elsewhere, his oral surgeon told him that he did not have to have the bone graft at that time and that he could have it after the pregnancy.
21. dr. evans told mrs. b that his oral surgeon’s advice differs from his because they treated a molar but that for a front tooth it had to be done at the same time.
22. um. b told her that she would “think about” the bone graft.
23. um. b returned on August 7, 2013 to have her future partial denture “shaded” (color made to match other teeth).
24. while there, she spoke at length with the dental hygienist about his concerns about having a bone graft during pregnancy and asked for the literature that comes with the novabone (graft material) package. the hygienist provided this information. while he was reading the brochure, mrs. b she learned that novabone “has not been clinically tested for use in pregnant women,” so she did not want to use it.
25. on august 22, 2013, scared by dr. evans that his tooth was poisoning his baby, mrs. b went back to dr. evans office to extract it.
26. she informed him that she had read the package insert for novabone and that she did not want the bone graft done. dr. Evans gave her an informed consent form and she indicated, in writing, on the form “she would prefer not to have the bone graft.”
27. asked to put his initials next to “I have been informed of possible alternative methods of treatment (if any)”, and dr. evans had written in “none viable – patient wants tooth pulled”.
28. um. b explained that this was incorrect and that she wanted to keep the tooth.
29. dr. Evans again stated that it was not possible because he was poisoning her and her baby, so he wrote “none viable”.
30. um. b told the dental hygienist that she refused the bone graft.
31. the dental hygienist told her that she needed to talk to the doctor about it.
32. when mrs. b told dr. evans that she was rejecting the bone graft, he told her that she could not refuse it. he said he wouldn’t do the extraction unless she agreed to the bone graft. dr. Evans also said that without the bone graft performed at that time she would never be able to have an implant.
33. um. b suggested that he would see his oral surgeon instead.
34. dr. evans told mrs. b that she should not go anywhere else for extraction because the other doctors are not trained to handle her mercury filler and will expose her and her baby to more toxins.
35. dr. evans told mrs. b that he uses the bone graft material all the time, that it is perfectly safe, and that he would allow his daughter to use it if she were pregnant.
36. dr. evans essentially told mrs. b that the only safe option for her baby was to let him extract the tooth and perform the bone graft.
3 7. mrs. b told dr. evans that if the tooth could not be removed without the bone graft, it would not be removed.
38. dr. Evans told her that if he didn’t remove it, he was further poisoning her baby with an infection.
39. um. b also told dr. evans that he wanted lidocaine to be used as an anesthetic because it is a class b drug (for safety for use during pregnancy) and approved by his obstetrician (“ob”).
40. despite agreeing, dr. Evans, against his wishes, used carbocaine, which is a schedule C drug and is not on his obstetrician-approved list.
41. um. b would not have consented to the use of carbocaine.
42. dr. evans also placed various “herbal remedies” on ms. b’s mouth without his consent. um. b had been very adamant that any substance used in his treatment had to first be approved by his ob. dr. evans knew mrs. b was not consenting to any substance not previously discussed by her.
43. despite the fact that she did not give her consent for the administration of these herbal remedies, dr. evans required ms. b to buy the bottles because she had “opened” them. when she complained, dr. Evans told her that the supplements were “holistic and good” and that, again, he would “give it to her daughter if she was pregnant.”
44. these herbal remedies, seven in all, contained ingredients that were unsafe for general use, unsafe for use during pregnancy, and contained ingredients that dr. evans knew mrs. b was allergic or intolerant.
45. in particular, one remedy contained comfrey which, according to the medical literature, should never be taken orally under any circumstances and should not even be applied to the skin during pregnancy.
46. um. b informed the obstetrician about him after this procedure, who told him to stop taking all these substances immediately.
47. Also, Dr. evans never used his supposed mercury protocol in extracting it. he had told her that, at the very least, he would need vitamin c and intravenous oxygen, and they were not provided.
48. the only reason mrs. b let dr. Evans did the extraction on her because he had scared her that going somewhere else would poison her and her baby from mercury.
49. dr. evans also falsely advised ms. b from her that she should not wear her retainer claiming that the plastic and metal leaked into her mouth at night poisoning her and her baby. She said she and her baby were likely suffering from “heavy metal poisoning” from the “old” retainer.
50. instead, he offered to have his staff make a “non-toxic” retainer. like mrs. b she could not afford it, instead she stopped wearing the old retainer, as directed, to protect herself and the baby from her. which combined with the failed extraction have caused ms. b’s teeth move in such a way that now she will likely need braces.
51. um. b was a vulnerable patient. She had recently suffered two miscarriages and hoped to successfully carry this pregnancy to term. dr. Evans was aware of this fact, as she was on her admission paperwork.
52. she also told dr. Evans about her many allergies and that she suffered from pots (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome).
53. dr. evans knew or should have known that he mrs. b She was at increased risk of infection and bone graft rejection due to her pregnancy and her potting.
54. he knew that she also suffered from symptoms of other diseases, to be later diagnosed and that she was desperate for a cure. he used this information to convince mrs. b that she was suffering from the effects of previous toxic dental work.
55. dr. evans never prescribed ms. b antibiotics before or after your surgery.
56. um. b went back to dr. evans on September 6, 2013 to have the sutures removed.
57. she informed the dental hygienist that she was concerned about the discoloration of the gums around the extraction site and said that she thought she had an infection. she asked to be seen by dr. evans.
58. the dental hygienist said she would talk to dr. evans the dental hygienist came back and said that dr. evans (not looking at mrs b) said she was fine and the gum was discolored and she was healing more slowly because she was pregnant.
59. um. b came back to say that he wanted to see dr. evans refused to see her.
60. um. b said he would wait in the waiting room until dr. evans was free but he never came out. she left and called the office again and described her pain, but was told that dr. Evans didn’t need to see her and he wouldn’t.
61. On September 13, 2013, Ms. b called groton dental wellness spa again regarding her possible infection.
62. this time, he was allowed to see dr. closes.
63. dr. shuts confirmed that ms. b she had an active infection but was told the cure was to “rinse better”. she irrigated the gum and gave it a syringe to rinse.
64. um. b requested that dr. shuts prescribed an antibiotic but he refused.
65. dr. shuts said that antibiotics were bad for her unborn baby. she said they would cross the placenta and hurt the baby.
66. um. b told dr. closes that he had permission from his obstetrician to take antibiotics, but dr. closures still rejected.
67. when mrs. b left, she called her obstetrician’s office and explained what happened. her obstetrician’s office said that if she had an infection, particularly an abscess, she needed antibiotics. they offered to call dr. close or dr. Evans to go over the list of approved antibiotics, but none of the dentists were willing to talk to her obstetrician, as they insisted they would not prescribe antibiotics to a pregnant patient.
68. after this consultation with her obstetrician, mrs. b repeatedly called groton dental wellness spa.
69. the front desk staff wouldn’t let her talk to the doctor about the antibiotics. they hung up on her and even said they wouldn’t pass on a message that she called.
70. um. b asked dr. he closes the email and emailed her the list of approved antibiotics from his obstetrician. after sending this email, ms. b received a return phone call from groton dental wellness spa front desk saying that dr. shuts wouldn’t change my mind about antibiotics.
71. at that time, due to dr. evans and dr. closes the lack of treatment of mrs. b, she resorted to treatment from her previous oral surgeon, who immediately prescribed 500mg of amoxicillin.
72. at this point, her untreated infection had grown to 9mm x 9mm.
73. On September 20, 2013, Ms. b required further oral surgery to clear the infection including removal of the bone graft which had been performed by dr. evans.
74. the infection has not yet been fully cured and returned in December 2013.
75. In March 2014, Ms. b required a second oral surgery to remove the persistent infection.
76. um. b experienced more complications. he developed a bruise and suffered nerve damage that has made her smile permanently crooked. she suffered excruciating pain after this surgery. Her surgeon needed to put a collagen membrane on her gum because the scar tissue was so bad.
77. When the failed bone graft site was still bothering her in late April 2014, Londonderry Oral Surgery suspected she might have osteomyelitis. um. b required a CT scan to rule it out.
78. at this point, even if she could get a new bone graft, mrs. b It is unlikely that she will ever be able to have an implant since the untreated infection destroyed her bone.
79. instead, she is a young woman in her 20s with one of her front teeth missing. this is humiliating for her. temporary dentures with retainers aggravate the area that has been chronically infected. Her teeth are shifting into this empty space and she will likely need braces in the future or suffer from severely misshapen teeth. Also, she has to remove her partial dentures in order to eat. this is a lifestyle that she limits and humiliates.
80. um. b’s husband had to take time off work to help mrs. b following each of her surgeries. she wasted time with her baby. her baby was exclusively breastfed for six months and she did not take a bottle. her baby screamed and cried all the time ms. b was on her dates causing great stress on her and her husband. she experienced extreme pain and suffering over a period of years, as well as permanent impairment of her nerves and appearance.
81. plaintiffs sent defendants a demand letter pursuant to m.g.l. c. 231 § 60l on April 24, 2015.
82. dr. Evans responded that he was not going to make a settlement offer.
83. dr. the closures did not respond.
84. while plaintiffs comply with the procedural requirements of §60l, this action is also brought within six months of the expiration of the statute of limitations and therefore plaintiffs do not need to prove compliance.
neglect mrs. b v. dr. evans
85. Plaintiffs repeat and restate the allegations in paragraphs 1 through 84 and incorporate them by reference as if fully set out herein.
86. a dentist/patient relationship existed between mrs. b and dr. evans at all times relevant to this complaint.
87. dr. evans had a duty of care to mrs. b exercise the degree of care and skill of the average qualified physician in his specialty, taking into account advances in the profession and the medical resources available to him.
88. dr. evans breached his duty to care for mrs. b when he did not exercise the degree of care and skill of the average qualified physician in his specialty, taking into account advances in the profession and the medical resources available to him.
89. dr. Evans’ standard of care violations include, but are not limited to:
a. not to prescribe an antibiotic to mrs. second;
b. extracting a tooth that may not have needed extraction and could have been saved by other dental methods than dr. evans falsely claimed they were toxic;
c. performing a bone graft on mrs. b while she is pregnant, infected, not treated with antibiotics and while she is diagnosed with pots;
d. refusing to see mrs. b when she came back with symptoms of infection;
e. advising mrs. b that other dental methods were toxic;
f. advising mrs. b to stop wearing your retainer.
g. using substances on ms. b that were contraindicated in pregnancy, generally unsafe, and to which she was allergic.
90. as a direct and proximate result of dr. evans’ breaches of standard of care, mrs. b suffered temporary and permanent substantial injuries and damages including, but not limited to, delayed diagnosis and treatment of infection, permanent disfigurement, impairment of bodily functions, extreme pain and suffering, emotional distress, shame, and loss of enjoyment of life .
91. therefore, mrs. b demands trial against dr. evans in charge i of this lawsuit in an amount that will fairly compensate her for her damages, along with interest, costs, and attorneys’ fees.
mrs. b v. dr. evans did not obtain informed consent
92. Plaintiffs repeat and restate the allegations in paragraphs i through 91 and incorporate them by reference as if fully set out herein.
93. dr. Evans had a duty to reasonably disclose all material medical information that he possessed or reasonably should have possessed that is important for the patient to make an intelligent decision about undergoing a proposed procedure.
94. dr. evans failed to properly inform ms. b of her treatment options.
95. dr. evans falsely told mrs. b that he had to have the bone chart done at the same time as the extraction of him in order to get an implant.
96. dr. evans ignored mrs. b rejection of the bone chart from her.
97. dr. evans used an anesthetic that mrs. b had not given her consent.
98. dr. evans also used herbal substances on mrs. b without obtaining their informed consent, substances that were contraindicated during pregnancy.
99. dr. evans gave more. b false information and threats that she was a bad mother by falsely claiming that she was putting her baby’s health at risk if she sought a second opinion again.
100. Implicit in those statements was the completely false accusation that her “bad” teeth could be to blame for her two recent miscarriages.
101. um. b she was unable to give her informed consent for the removal of her because she was not properly informed and any consent she gave was improperly coerced with false information.
102. yes mrs. b had been properly informed, she would have taken a different course of action and would not have suffered the harm described in this document.
103. Consequently, Dr. evan did not inform mrs. b almost caused ms. b temporary and permanent substantial injuries and damages including, but not limited to, delays in the diagnosis and treatment of infections, permanent disfigurement, impairment of bodily functions, extreme pain and suffering, emotional distress, embarrassment, and loss of enjoyment of life.
l 04. for which mrs. b demands trial against dr. evans bad bill from this lawsuit in an amount that will justly compensate you for your damages, along with interest, costs, and attorneys’ fees from this action.
negligent infliction of emotional distress ms. b v. dr. evans
105. Plaintiffs repeat and restate the allegations in paragraphs 1 through 104 and incorporate them by reference as if fully set out herein.
106. dr. evans had a duty of care to mrs. b.
107. dr. evans caused mrs. b extreme emotional distress.
108. um. b suffered physical damage manifested by objective symptoms. 1 09. A reasonable person would have suffered emotional distress under the circumstances of this case.
110. In addition to the extreme emotional distress of Mrs. b suffered due to her own injuries, mrs. b suffered great emotional distress from dr. Evans’ accusations of her that she exposed her baby (and those she lost to miscarriage) to toxic materials.
111. She suffered further emotional distress from her baby’s toxic exposure to bone graft material, improper anesthesia, and “herbal remedies” applied without her consent.
112. so mrs. b demands trial against dr. evans in Count iii of this lawsuit in an amount that will justly compensate her for her damages, along with interest, costs, and attorneys’ fees from this action.
negligence iv charge
mrs. b v. dr. closes
113. Plaintiffs repeat and restate the allegations in paragraphs 1 through 112 and incorporate them by reference as if fully set out herein.
114. a dentist/patient relationship existed between mrs. b and dr. closes at all times relevant to this count.
115. dr. shuts had a duty of care to mrs. b exercise the degree of care and skill of the average qualified physician in his specialty, taking into account advances in the profession and the medical resources available to him.
116. dr. shutts breached his duty to care for mrs. b when he did not exercise the degree of care and skill of the average qualified physician in his specialty, taking into account advances in the profession and the medical resources available to him.
117. specifically, dr. shutts breached his duty of care by not prescribing ms. b an antibiotic and falsely told her that no antibiotic was safe for a pregnant patient.
118. as a direct and proximate result of dr. closes standard of care violations, ms. b suffered temporary and permanent substantial injuries and damages including, but not limited to, delayed diagnosis and treatment of infection, permanent disfigurement, impairment of bodily functions, extreme pain and suffering, emotional distress, shame, and loss of enjoyment of life .
119. therefore, mrs. b demands trial against dr. closes the iv charge of this lawsuit in an amount that will fairly compensate you for your damages, along with interest, costs, and attorneys’ fees.
mr. b v. dr. evans and dr. closes loss of consortium
120. Plaintiffs repeat and restate the allegations in paragraphs 1 through 119 and incorporate them by reference as if fully set out herein.
121. Mr. b is the husband of mrs. b and was her husband at all times relevant to this complaint.
122. as a direct and proximate result of dr. evans and dr. close the neglect, mr. b has been and will be deprived of the full society, care, comfort, consortium and social relations of his wife.
123. in particular mr. b missed work taking care of mrs. b and her children as more. b recovered from her surgeries.
124. Mr. b, like mrs. b, he suffers from the change in his appearance.
125. it affects your relationship like ms. b doesn’t enjoy going out in public like she used to and is very embarrassed to eat out because she has to remove her partial dentures.
126. therefore, mr. b demands trial against dr. evans and dr. closes charge v of this lawsuit in the amount that will justly compensate you for your damages, along with interest, costs, and attorneys’ fees from this action.
mrs. b v. all defendants’ violations of the consumer protection law, mgl 93 a
127. Plaintiffs repeat and restate the allegations in paragraphs 1 through 126 and incorporate them by reference as if fully set out herein.
128. the defendants are engaged in business or commercial conduct.
129. groton dental wellness, llp, provides information to the public and advertises services that it knows or should know to be inaccurate and misleading. such claims lead patients to groton dental wellness, llp out of false fear.
130. defendants acted in bad faith knowingly or with reason to know that their actions violated the law as dr. Evans, LLP’s manager, was previously suspended from practicing dentistry for his misrepresentations regarding root canalized teeth and other common dental practices, such as the use or removal of mercury amalgam fillings.
131. Also, Dr. evans’ previous discipline also addressed his unlicensed practice of medicine by attempting to treat the entire body rather than just the teeth.
132. dr. evans continued to use these tactics apparently in the treatment of mrs. b.
133. groton dental wellness, llp allowed this practice to continue and built its business model around these misleading premises.
134. Plaintiff made a claim on Defendants at least thirty days prior to the filing of this action. the defendants did not offer a settlement.
135. um. b is therefore claims up to three times but not less than two times his damages.
136. um. b is also entitled to be awarded attorneys’ fees, costs, and interest.
plaintiffs demand a jury trial on all matters that are justiciable
respectfully submitted, mr. & more b
by and through his attorneys hage hodes, p.a.
date: April 22, 2016
by: kathleen a. Davidson, Esquire (BBQ #675488) Hage Hodes, Professional Association I1855 Elm Street Manchester, New Hampshire 03104 (603) 668-2222
This page was published on September 4, 2016