What are my options if my orthodontist closed his office with no warning but I paid $4800 in full and am 10 months into a 24 month course of treatment?

There are no details. The sign just said, “This office is permanently closed. Sorry for any inconvenience.” Would this be something covered by malpractice insurance?

Asked on February 24, 2015 under Malpractice Law, Ohio

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

It is unlikely that closing the office without any warning would be covered under malpractice insurance unless there is a provision in the policy prohibiting abandonment of patients.

It would be advisable to file a complaint with the state dental licensing board regarding abandonment of patients.

In addition, you can sue the dentist for breach of contract  for not completing your treatment  and not refunding your money.

Your damages (the amount of monetary compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit for breach of contract) would be the amount of the total you mentioned which represents the unfinished treatment.

If you complete your treatment with another orthodontist, your damages should include the additional cost of completion of the work by the second orthodontist.  You will need to mitigate (minimize) damages by selecting an orthodontist in the area whose fees are comparable to what you were paying with the first orthodontist.  If you were to select the most expensive orthodontist you could find, you have failed to mitigate damages and your damages will be reduced accordingly.


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