Newport Beach dentist loses in malpractice suit

A Newport Beach dentist known for treating the rich and famous will have to pay one of her patients $641,542 after badly damaging her teeth and gums to the point that she needed emergency surgery.

Earlier this month an arbitrator ruled in favor of Ingrid Valdez, 39, and her husband, Barry Cosgrove, who filed a malpractice lawsuit against Dr. Sherri Lee Worth after she botched dental work for Valdez in 2009.

Worth is a well-known dentist who has appeared on television and done work for celebrities like Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee.

According to court documents, Worth placed 22 crowns and veneers and did gum lasering, all of which were poorly done. Valdez said she felt her smile was "gummy" and her teeth discolored.

"Following the placement of the permanent crowns and bridge, Ingrid Valdez suffered extreme throbbing pain in her whole mouth, extreme sensitivity to hot and cold, as well as sensitivity to touch," according to her suit.

The pain only got worse, Valdez reported. She got opinions from other dentists, who blamed Worth. She underwent emergency surgery and several root canals to repair the damage.

The arbitrator in the case said under questioning that Worth was evasive and unresponsive.

According to the arbitrator's ruling, Worth's account of the work she did and the records she kept were unreliable. She doctored the medical reports after the fact and "lost" damning evidence against her, documents show.

The couple's award covered pain and suffering, general damages for loss of consortium, and past, present and future economic loss and interest.

Twitter: @JosephSerna

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