Mr S was treated by a dentist in Yorkshire for wrongful extraction of two upper teeth. The claim was quite straightforward -or so I thought.
Mr S attended the dentist Mr B back in 2014 for treatment. UR4 was extracted and the claimant left the practice. He returned some two hours later in pain and UR5 was also then extracted. The practice was closed when he returned again so the claimant decided to attend Rotherham A&E.
The registrar at A&E diagnosed an abscess and told the claimant that none of his teeth should have been taken out at all.
A letter of claim was drafted and sent to Mr B at his home address in Greece as no defence organisation was instructed. Nothing was heard for some time.
It then materialised that the dentist Mr B was in fact acting under a pseudonym. He was actually caught out by sending an email using his real name to the practice manager of his former dental practice who raised the alarm.
After being questioned by the Police, the dentist fled the UK to Sweden. An international arrest warrant was issued and he was brought back to the UK.
Mr B had previously been fined by a Scottish Court back in 2013 for practising whilst not indemnified which did not bode well for my client.
Mr B was charged and pleaded guilty to fraud and assault occasioning ABH and was jailed for five and half years in September 2016. The Judge called him a "disgrace to his profession".
As my clients claim was not in Court proceedings, the Prison Location Service would not release Mr B's whereabouts as to which prison he was being held in, without his consent. This was of course refused by Mr B.
As Mr B had history for not being indemnified whilst practising dentistry, it was likely that this was still the case. It is likely that as Mr B has been jailed, it is also likely that he may not have any assets worth pursuing. The golden rule in any litigation is that the defendant must have something worth pursuing otherwise court proceedings can be won, but the Judgement cannot be enforced.
The claimant had to make a difficult decision: Issue proceedings at his own cost and prove a point? or walk away from the dental claim.
He chose to walk away.