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Pierce County, Washington Pays $6,250 Settlement for Negligence of Dental Care

Washington State’s Pierce County paid $6,250 to settle a prisoner’s claim for neglectful dental care.

Steven Michaelson was a prisoner in the Pierce County Jail when he lost a filling in a molar. He filed a “kite” on September 10, 2004, to see the dentist. When he saw the dentist on September 22, 2004, the notes for the dental appointment stated that “there was no pain and advised that it be opened and drained or that the tooth be extracted when patient signed up again.”

Between November 30, 2005 and January 6, 2005, Michaelson wrote several more kites, asking that something be done about his tooth and that he was in “unbearable” pain. The response from dentist was “you are on the dental list.”

When he was finally seen by the dentist on January 11, 2005, the tooth was abscessed and had to be extracted.

Michaelson’s claim sought damages for the loss of his tooth and the pain and suffering he endured. Pierce County settled with Michaelson on October 16, 2006. He was represented by Seattle attorney Fred Diamondstone.

See: Michaelson v. Pierce County, Washington State’s King Co. Sup. Ct. Case No. 06-2-08468-3KNT.

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Related legal case

Michaelson v. Pierce County