A former patient of Dr. Scott Harrington sat down with Channel 8 Thursday to explain why he has filed a lawsuit against the oral surgeon. His attorney said he is continuing to hear from additional former patients and there may possibly be more lawsuits filed.
"More than likely, I won't live a long life," said former Mounds police officer James Rice. "Because my heart's not going to take it."
Rice said he had a heart attack while leaving Dr. Harrington's clinic following a tooth extraction in July of last year. He said he was reportedly within 20 minutes of death. Rice said the heart attack likely resulted from over sedation at Harrington's clinic. He said an assistant administered him the drugs before the procedure.
Since then, he takes between eight and nine pills a day, costing him about $400 each month. Also, he said his health cannot handle the stress, so he is unable to work at this time.
"This was a serious, serious issue. I now have 45 percent damage to my heart for the rest of my life," said Rice.
Rice filed a lawsuit against Harrington. He said his aim is to hold Harrington accountable, though he refuses to hate the oral surgeon. His wife also filed for spousal consortium, saying her husband's medical condition have negatively affected their marriage.
Attorney Paul Boudreaux said he has had four clients file lawsuits, including Rice, against Harrington so far. He continues to hear from other former patients. In fact, he met with several of them Thursday, including a mother concerned for her young daughter's health.
Boudreaux does not expect it will be difficult to prove that these former patients' health problems originated at Dr. Harrington's practice.
"I don't think it's challenging. We'll have experts, and I have experts at work as we speak, who will be reviewing all of the materials and who will then determine in each case whether they believe it is probable or not within a reasonable medical certainty that the cause of each individual's problems are from the conduct out there at this dental office," said Boudreaux.
District Attorney Tim Harris said, "We are in contact with a variety of state and federal agencies, including the state dental board but
the simple fact is that a substantial investigation will need to be conducted and completed before any decision on potential criminal charges will take place."
The Health Department released updated numbers from its testing of Dr. Harrington's patients Thursday. There was an additional positive test result for Hepatitis C and one for HIV. That brings total numbers to 70 positive results for Hepatitis C, four for Hepatitis B, and three for HIV.
Channel 8 reached out to Dr. Harrington's lawyer and did not receive a comment.
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