??!! “He put in the phony tusks while the woman was under anesthesia…”
posted by July 27 at 13:10 PMon
An oral surgeon who temporarily implanted fake boar tusks in his assistant’s mouth as a practical joke and got sued for it has gotten the state’s high court to back up his gag.
Dr. Robert Woo of Auburn had put in the phony tusks while the woman was under anesthesia for a different procedure. He took them out before she awoke, but he first shot photos that eventually made it around the office.
This story is so weird I can’t believe it: The assistant grew up on a farm with pot-bellied pigs, couldn’t stop talking about them, and obviously missed them. The surgeon is described as a “kindhearted, fun-loving man,” a joker, a nice old geezer.
Put the two together and disaster strikes:
The oral surgery on Alberts was intended to replace two of her teeth with implants, which Woo did. First, though, he installed temporary bridges that he had shaped to look like boar tusks, and while Alberts was still under anesthesia, he took photos, some with her eyes propped open. Before she woke up, he removed the “tusks” and put in the proper replacement teeth.
When the farm girl found out, she freaked, quit, and sued her boss. He tried to apologize. She wouldn’t hear it. Everyone’s feelings were hurt.
The two settled out of court but the surgeon’s insurance wouldn’t cover the costs so he turned around and sued them.
He lost. He appealed. Then he won.
In a sprightly 5-4 decision, Supreme Court Justice Mary Fairhurst wrote that Woo’s practical joke was an integral, if odd, part of the assistant’s dental surgery and “conceivably” should trigger the professional liability coverage of his policy.
Integral? How? The Seattle Times does not explain.