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Case No.: N67967
San Diego County, California Superior Court
Hunt v. DeJulien

PLAINTIFF'S ATTORNEYS: Raymond Paul Johnson, Esq.
Donn W. Christensen, Esq.
Law Offices of Raymond Paul Johnson
10990 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1150
Los Angeles, CA 90024
(310) 246-9300

William D. Okrent, Esq.
Holmes & Rickles
1850 Benjamin Franklin Plaza
One Southwest Columbia
Portland, OR 97258
(503) 229-1850

Neil, Dymott, Perkins, Brown & Frank
1010 Second Avenue, Suite 2500
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 238-1712
PLAINTIFF'S LIABILITY EXPERTS: Charles S. Syers, D.D.S., M.A. (Oral Surgeon)
P.O. Box 1879
St. Matthew Station
San Mateo, CA 94401-0946

Elliot Krames, M.D. (Pain Control Expert)
One Daniel Burnham Court, Suite 350C
San Francisco, CA 94109

Joyce Pickersgill, Ph.D. (Economist)
Formuzis, Pickersgill & Hunt, Inc.
2000 East Fourth Street, Suite 200
Santa Ana, CA 92705-3907

DEFENSE'S LIABILITY EXPERTS: Albert Cutri, D.D.S. (Oral Surgeon)
9855 Erma Road, Suite 100
San Diego, CA 92131

Doran Ryan, D.D.S., M.S. (Oral Surgeon)
9200 W. Wisconsin Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53201

Bradley Eli, D.M.D. (Pain/Dentist)
Scripps Pain Center
9888 Genesee Avenue
La Jolla, CA 92037

Allen Adler, M.D. (Psychiatrist)
P.O. Box 675170
Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067

Edward Workman (Vocational Rehabilitation)
6393 Nancy Ridge Drive, Suite A
San Diego, CA 92121

Cary Mack, J.D., C.P.A. (Economist)
Bruno, Mack and Barclay
402 West Broadway, 9th Floor
San Diego, CA 92101

PLAINTIFFS: Christina Hunt of Redding, California and her husband, Schuyler Hunt (loss of consortium)
DEFENDANT: Oral Surgeon Lorenz F. DeJulien, D.D.S. of San Diego County
TYPE OF CASE: Professional Malpractice (oral surgery)
PLAINTIFF'S OCCUPATION: Accountant/Housewife
FACTS: In 1984, Dr. DeJulien surgically inserted Proplast Teflon™ temporomandibular joint (TMJ) implants on each side of Mrs. Hunt's jaw. Later in 1989, he partially removed only one of the defective implants. His alleged medical errors allowed remnants of that implant, and the implant on the other side to fragment and fester in Mrs. Hunt's jaw causing permanent injuries and a lifetime of chronic pain.
CONTENTIONS OF THE PARTIES: Plaintiffs contended that Dr. DeJulien should have completely removed both implants, including all fragments, in the 1989 surgery. As a result, Christina Hunt suffered severe and permanent damage to both jaw joints, an inability to open her jaws without pain beyond a straw-width, and the loss of almost all of her teeth due to her inability to open her mouth to receive proper dental care. Christina Hunt has now suffered so much bone and tissue destruction in her jaw that her only option is some medical breakthrough in the future that might allow for complete jaw joint replacements. Until then, she must suffer with chronic pain, jaw dysfunction and the use of opiate pain medications with horrible side effects.

The defense asserted that Christina Hunt gave her informed consent in allowing the implants to be placed and in not removing the one implant in 1989 that was asymptomatic and working. Defendant also asserted that plaintiffs did not bring their case within the one- and three-year statutes of limitation periods. Defendant also argued that plaintiff was exaggerating her pain to increase her use of opiates, and that she suffered from other conditions that actually caused what pain symptoms she had.

HISTORY OF THE TRIAL AND VERDICT: Previously this case was consolidated with San Francisco Consolidated Case Number 2717, and then was returned to San Diego for trial. The case was tried in the Vista division of the San Diego Superior Court before the Honorable Thomas Nugent beginning July 2, 1999. Defendant waived his right to have the statute-of-limitations issues tried separately. Closing arguments were delivered on July 28, 1999. On August 9, 1999, the eighth (8th) day of deliberation, the jury returned a verdict for plaintiffs in the amount of $237,300.
TRIAL COURT: The Honorable Thomas Nugent
San Diego County Superior Court, North District—Vista
Case No. N67967
TRIAL DATE: July 2, 1999
VERDICT DATE: August 9, 1999
AMOUNT OF VERDICT: $237,300.00
PRIOR MEDIATION(S)/ARBITRATION(S): One mediation was held before trial. The defendant Dr. DeJulien refused to grant consent to any settlement. Plaintiff thereafter served a C.C.P. § 998 Offer to Settle at $380,000. Just prior to trial, plaintiffs offered to settle globally for $290,000. Defendant again refused to consent; nothing but a waiver of cost was offered throughout trial.
Verdict Summary Prepared by:  Raymond Paul Johnson
Law Offices of Raymond Paul Johnson
10990 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1150
Los Angeles, CA 90024
Representing:  Plaintiffs
Date:  May 18, 2000

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