Who should pay for lost dental parts of implant kit?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Who should pay for lost dental parts of implant kit?

We have a periodontist who does dental
implants part time at our dental office and
recently, he found out that some parts of his
dental implant kit were missing total missing
parts valued at 300 and he used it last at
our office 6 months ago and packaged with
sterilization paper by our main dental assistant
so thats why he didnt realize he lost them until
he open the sterilization paper and using the kit
at another office. My question is, who or what
portion should pay for the missing parts, the
dental assistant or is the owner dentist or both?
If both, how should the percentage of payment
be split? Thanks.

Asked on January 19, 2018 under Malpractice Law, Virginia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If there is no agreement as to who pays for lost or missing parts, liabilty, or the obligation to pay, depends on fault: only if there is carelessness (neglience) and such can be shown or proven does someone have to pay for it. If there is negligence, then the periodontist can get the money from either the employee who was negligent (being negligent makes you personally liable for the loss) or from the dental practice (employers are liable for the negligence of their employees committed during the course of their employment). However, if the periodontist sought the money from the dentist (or the denstist chose to pay him), the dental practice could in turn recover the money from the assistant: even though an employer has to pay or answer for the employee's negligence to the 3rd party, the person who actually committed the negligence is ultimately liable, and anyone who incurs costs or has to pay on their behalf can seek reimbursement from them. So the periodontist has his choice of who to seek payment from, but if he seeks or gets it from the dentist, the dentist then then get repayment from the dental assistant.

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