A jury has awarded $10.2 million in a New Jersey medical malpractice lawsuit filed over the wrongful death of a 21 year old man who had a genetic condition which should have precluded him from receiving oral surgery.
The dental malpractice lawsuit was filed by the family of Francis Keller in the Superior Court of New Jersey for Middlesex County against Dr. George Flugrad, an oral surgeon from Perth Amboy, New Jersey.
After having his wisdom teeth extracted by Dr. Flugrad on August 4, 2005, Keller suffered a reaction to the surgery that caused his throat to swell, eventually causing him to suffocate to death.
The central New Jersey jury found that Dr. Flugrad was medically negligent for performing the dental surgery knowing that Keller had a hereditary condition where any trauma to his face or hands could cause his immune system to react, resulting in swelling of the hands, face and airway. The immunity disorder should have precluded Keller from having the surgery or other dental work.
Although Dr. Flugrad attempted to place the blame on the family’s dentist, Dr. John Madaris, the jury found that Dr. Madaris was not negligent and found that Dr. Fulgrad committed medical malpractice for performing the dental surgery on Keller without getting medical clearance.
Keller’s family was awarded $10.2 million for his wrongful death, and with interest the total amount of the judgment will exceed $12 million. It is believed to be one of the largest awards oral surgery malpractice verdicts in the United States.