‘This Lawsuit May Hurt a Bit …’

     CALDWELL, Idaho (CN) – A dentist pulled 10 teeth unnecessarily because he needed money, then gave a woman nitrous oxide and had her sign a “cover your ass” form, the woman claims in court.
     Laura Fay Shetler sued Dr. Ronald J. Albright, D.D.S., and his Ariel Corp., in Canyon County Court.
     She claims Albright used Ariel “for the purpose of diverting funds from his practice to defraud creditors,” and that Albright “committed fraud or misrepresentation to obtain the consent of the plaintiff to perform dental extractions”.
     Shetler says she was visiting Idaho from her home in Minnesota when she met Albright in July 2010 in Kooskia, where he “maintained a ‘makeshift’ remote dental practice located in a ‘garage.'”
     Shetler says she told Albright she needed an adjustment on “a dental ‘flipper’ that was causing discomfort to her gums.”
     She claims the dentist “made factual misrepresentations … and concealed material information from her” to persuade her to have 10 teeth pulled. Shetler says her father was with her when this happened.
     She says she asked if she had any other options, and Albright told her, “You are a mess, they all have to go.”
     When she said she wanted a second opinion, Albright told her, “Listen, honey, I have been doing this for 30 years and I know what I am doing,” the complaint states.
     When she asked about the price, she says, Albright told her, “Honey, do not worry about the cost, I will give you a good deal.”
     Shetler claims he “knew or recklessly disregarded” that she did not need to have the 10 teeth pulled.
     “Defendant Albright was in dire financial circumstances and it may be inferred that he needed to perform work in order to raise immediate funds,” the complaint states.
     “While plaintiff Shetler was present in the garage, several trades persons spoke with defendant Albright and indicated that they had not yet been paid. The conversations that took place in plaintiff Shetler’s presence, and the information that defendant Albright provided to her about his financial condition indicated that defendant Albright had an urgent need to generate revenues.”
     She claims that Albright “demand(ed)” that she go to his office in Nampa the next day, a Sunday, because of her “urgent need” to have the 10 teeth pulled, so she did, with her father. Albright stood them up, though, and when he finally arrived, he had her sleep on the floor of his house, and her father “on a small love seat” so he could operate the next day, according to the complaint.
     On Monday, she says, Albright told her that all of her bottom teeth “have to go,” which was false.
     “Toward the end of Dr. Albright’s extraction of plaintiff Shetler’s involved teeth, he administered a gas, believed to have been nitrous oxide,” the complaint states. “Dr. Albright also administered injections of plaintiff Shetler of unknown substances.”
     After he pulled the 10 teeth, Shetler says, Albright left the room and returned with a clipboard “with a piece of paper on it with a pen attached.”
     She claims she was still “recumbent in the dental chair” and “at least partially under the influence of the anesthetics,” when Albright gave her the clipboard and said, “I need you to sign this.”
     She says she asked, “What is it?”
     “Dr. Albright answered it is a ‘CYA,'” the complaint states.
     “Plaintiff Shetler asked him what ‘CYA’ meant. Dr. Albright responded, ‘Cover Your Ass.'”
     Shetler says she signed the form, and Albright then asked for payment in full: $2,900, “adding that he needed the money.”
     She says he demanded payment in full again the next day, Tuesday. Though she has dental insurance, and told him so, she says Albright responded “that he ‘doesn’t bother with any dental insurance as they don’t pay much on the bill – they are a waste of time.'”
     She claims that that was a lie – that Albright did take insurance – but that she used her debit card to pay the entire $2,900, as asked.
     When she got home to Minnesota, she says, “she was surprised to receive a statement” from her insurer “indicating that defendant Albright had indeed billed it for the amount of $3,150” for her extractions – of which the insurer paid $586.40.
     After hollering at his office by telephone, Shetler says, Albright sent her a check for $586.40 – from Ariel Inc.
     She seeks punitive damages for disfigurement, reckless misconduct, and fraudulent misrepresentations.
     She is represented by Brett Seiniger of Boise.

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