Ukiah, CA asked in Appeals / Appellate Law, Legal Malpractice and Personal Injury for California

Q: to file a dental malpractice suit...the defendant must have a licence to practice dentistry to qualify as malpractice?

a man never licenced in dentistry ran a office, advertised cheap oral surgery, emergency oral care. i paid this man to fix a failing tooth and he says u will look like a movie star he ends up pulling most of my back teeth ground down frontal and glued huge fake teeth over the stubs....he kept giving me injections in my mouth. one day i see him on the news "fake dentist makes meth in make shift office". i called the person incharge of that bust and he told me to call Consum. affair. ive got expert testimony and report of the damage inflicted i filed a complaint thru consumer affairs and board of dentistry, an investigation was conducted and since the dentistry board only responsible for licencees. they turned it over to DA for criminal procescution and im keep waiting to hear or find out what happened why i was never contacted by victims witness, nothing. 6months later i call and they have no idea about the case at all saying the person incharge retired statue of limits is up to file

2 Lawyer Answers
Dale S. Gribow
Dale S. Gribow
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Palm Desert, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: more info needed.

are you just looking to be compensated? if so be sure to ask the DA to make restitution a part of the sentence.

you can probably still sue for negligence, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress etc

is it within 3 years of the incident.????

William John Light
William John Light
  • Legal Malpractice Lawyer
  • Riverside, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: A suit against an unlicensed dentist would allege malpractice, battery and fraud. Any consent you gave is void was based upon false representations of qualifications by the defendant.

A fraud (deceit, intentional misrepresentation) lawsuit is required to be filed within three years before plaintiff either discovered facts constituting the fraud or with reasonable diligence could have (should have) discovered those facts, whichever comes first. Sun'n Sand, Inc. v. United California Bank (1978) 21 Cal.3d 671, 701; Fox v. Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. (2005) 35 Cal.4th 797, 808; Kline v. Turner (2001) 87 Cal.App.4th 1369, 1374.

The delayed-discovery rule in fraud cases applies and is codified in California Code of Civil Procedure § 338(d):

“Within three years: (d) An action for relief on the ground of fraud or mistake…[is] not deemed to have accrued until the discovery, by the aggrieved party, of the facts constituting the fraud or mistake.”

Assuming that you can get such a lawsuit filed timely, I have to assume that an unlicensed dentist is also uninsured, making the prospect of recovering rather slim. You should consider making a claim with the Victim Compensation Board.

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