$35M award to 29 patients for root canals

SEATTLE — More than two dozen patients of a former Seattle-area dentist accused of performing hundreds of unnecessary root canals have been awarded $35 million in an arbitration proceeding.

Former King County Superior Court Judge Paris Kallas issued that award Wednesday.

The judge found that Henri Duyzend was negligent, failed to obtain informed consent from patients, committed fraud and violated the Washington Consumer Protection Act, The Seattle Times reported.

A sworn affidavit from Dr. David To said Duyzend performed nearly 2,200 root canals on about 500 patients in the five years before he retired in 2007. To purchased Duyzend’s practice and says a typical patient has fewer than two root canals.

State Health Department spokesman Donn Moyer said his agency has received 76 complaints about the man.

Duyzend started practicing dentistry in Shoreline, north of Seattle, in 1977, the Health Department said.

Moyer said the man surrendered his license in 2010 after negotiations, agreeing to never practice dentistry in the state again.

Both The Times and KING-TV said calls for comment to Duyzend and his lawyer were not returned. An Associated Press call to his home was not returned Wednesday night. Court documents show that in 2012 he denied any wrongdoing.

KING-TV reported that more than 200 patients filed malpractice claims against the dentist but the arbitration award benefits a smaller group of 29 who declined to settle their claims.

Construction worker Dan O’Neal had 20 root canals; he was awarded more than $2 million, KING reported.

Laurel Stuart told The Times she was Duyzend’s patient from the early days of his practice.

“We thought he was fabulous,” she said Wednesday, adding he made patients feel comfortable.

She said she started questioning his work about 15 years ago because “of all the root canals.” She had four, plus “lots of crowns” and said she had to go to a specialist to have implants when she lost four teeth.

Seattle dentist Dr. Fred Quarnstrom looked at records of Duyzend’s former patients and sat in on testimony earlier this month.

He told The Times that root canals are not uncommon, but a patient with four root canals is unusual.

More in Local News

Departing mayor’s locally drawn portrait joins city’s pantheon

Artist Elizabeth Person’s portrait of Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson will hang with others at City Hall.

Inslee proposes tapping reserves, carbon tax in budget plan

The proposal also includes money for the mental health system and efforts to fight opioid addiction.

One dead in crash south of Granite Falls

Two cars collided near the intersection of N. Lake Roesiger Road and Hidden Valley Road.

2 women struck, injured while crossing busy roads

The first happened Wednesday night in Everett. The second was Thursday morning in Edmonds.

Lynnwood robbery leads to lockdown at Edmonds schools

Edmonds police said it was just a precaution as they search around Edmonds-Woodway High School.

Marysville 7-Eleven hit by armed robbers

Officers set up a perimeter and brought in a police dog, but the man couldn’t be found.

Snohomish man, 63, missing from home since Monday

He left without his keys, wallet and phone, saying something about going to “the river.”

Counties fed up with unfunded mandates may sue the state

For example, no money has been provided to install, maintain and clear out required ballot boxes.

Firefighters come to the rescue and give mom new stroller

Donations to the Good Neighbor Program covered the $143.20 cost.

Most Read