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Medical Malpractice Decision in Deen v. Egleston

By FindLaw Staff on February 26, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Deen v. Egleston, No. 09-11458, was a medical malpractice action involving allegations of dental malpractice.

The court of appeals described some of the claims as follows: "Linda Deen claimed that Dr. Egleston had been medically negligent by, among other things, performing a full mouth debridement which, according to Deen, "caused huge amounts of bacteria to have been dumped into the blood stream." She sought compensatory damages and damages for pain and suffering and loss of consortium. She alleged damages in excess of $10,000. An amended complaint followed, adding counts for negligence per se, simple negligence, and constructive fraud."

The court of appeals reversed the denial of partial summary judgment for the dentist defendant, holding that the district court, in striking down, under the Equal Protection Clause, a state statute that did not exempt the "legally incompetent" from the general two-year statute of limitations, overlooked the essential principle that matters of social and economic policy, particularly when they came to bear on the health and welfare of a state's citizens, were quintessentially legislative in nature.

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