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Washington DOC’s Jaw Removal During Tooth Extraction Nets $130,000

The State of Washington paid a prisoner $130,000 to settle a tort claim alleging severe injuries suffered during a negligent tooth extraction.

On May 24, 2006, Dr. Joel O. Diven, DDS was attempting to extract the second upper molar (tooth # 2) of McNeil Island Correctional Center prisoner Larry Hembd. Diven fractured Hembd’s upper jaw bone and removed a half-dollar size chunk of bone with tooth # 2 and the adjacent third upper molar (tooth # 1). Hembd “suffered profuse, uncontrolled bleeding, the soft palette tissue was torn to mid-point and the floor of the maxillary sinus was torn out, leaving a gaping hold exposing muscle and hanging upper sinus tissue.”

On August 20, 2007, Hembd filed a tort claim, pursuant to RCW Chapter 492, seeking $300,000 in damages. He was represented by Port Orchard, Washington attorney Richard L. Peterson, of Crawford, McGilliard, Peterson & Yelish.

The State of Washington settled the claim on November 16, 2007, by paying Hembd $130,000.

Source: In re Hembd, Tort Claim Form & Settlement Agreement

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Related legal case

In re Hembd