In a sprightly 5-4 decision, Supreme Court Justice Mary Fairhurst wrote that Woo's practical joke was an integral, if odd, part of the assistant's dental surgery and "conceivably" should trigger the professional liability coverage of his policy....So... why did he win? Because everyone hates insurance companies? Because women who talk too much about their oddball pets deserve humilation -- as long as they're unconscious?
The backstory, the court wrote, is that Alberts' family raises potbellied pigs and that she frequently talked about them at the office where she worked for five years.
Woo said his jests about the pigs were part of "a friendly working environment" that he tried to foster.
The oral surgery on Alberts was intended to replace two of her teeth with implants, which Woo did. First, though, he installed temporary bridges that he had shaped to look like boar tusks, and while Alberts was still under anesthesia, he took photos, some with her eyes propped open. Before she woke up, he removed the "tusks" and put in the proper replacement teeth.
Woo says he didn't personally show her the pictures but staffers gave her copies at a birthday party.
July 27, 2007
Dentist implants boar tusks on unconscious patient, photographs her, and later he wins $750,000 in a lawsuit about it.
How does that happen?