Oral surgeon sues state Board of Dentistry over sanctions

By Kyla Asbury | Aug 25, 2016

HUNTINGTON – An oral surgeon is suing the West Virginia Board of Dentistry after he claims its sanctions will cause him damages in the amount of $40,000.

Dr. R. Scott Murphy was a licensed oral surgeon licensed in West Virginia who also held a Class 3B anesthesia permit that allowed him to administer IV sedation, but not general anesthesia, according to a complaint filed Aug. 2 in Cabell Circuit Court.

On June 30, 2015, Melisa Flowers was scheduled to have her wisdom teeth extracted and she had previously called and then was again advised that the type of anesthesia to be administered would be local or IV conscious sedation.

Flowers was provided with an informed consent form, which provided that she gave consent to Murphy to administer local anesthesia or IV conscious sedation as deemed necessary for the appropriate management during the procedure or treatment.

Murphy claims Flowers still thought she was going to be put to sleep during the surgical procedure and when she realized she was going to be conscious during the surgery, she became hysterical and began screaming and yelling, remembering the experience of pain during a c-section where she indicated she was not fully numb.

In order to control the situation, Murphy removed the oxygen mask off of Flowers’ face and told her to stop yelling in a firm manner, according to the suit. He then removed himself from her side, stopped the procedure and sat on a stool behind her until she calmed down.

Murphy claims Flowers eventually allowed Murphy to continue the procedure, which was completed without incident, and Flowers had no known problems resulting from the wisdom teeth extraction.

On July 2, 2015, Flowers filed a complaint with the defendant against Murphy, alleging he was abusive, intimidating, insulting and humiliating toward her and a hearing was held on March 28, where a hearing examiner found that Murphy had violated West Virginia code.

Murphy claims the sanctions of prohibiting him from practicing dentistry or administering anesthesia for 20 days will cause him immediate and irreparable loss of revenue of approximately $40,000.

Murphy is seeking a temporary and permanent injunction and restraining order. He is being represented by William T. Watson.

The case is assigned to Circuit Judge F. Jane Hustead.

Cabell Circuit Court case number: 16-C-504

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