"Holistic" Dentist (Dominic Cicero)
Sued for Malpractice

Stephen Barrett, M.D.


Dominic Cicero, D.D.S., who practiced "holistic dentistry" in Philipsburg, New Jersey, is being sued by a woman who sought his care for a root canal treatment. According to the complaint (shown below):

After the suit was filed, the patient discovered that the paste he had used for her root canal treatments was RC-2W, a nonstandard paste that can cause severe injury if it comes in contact with tissues surrounding the root. During a deposition, Cicero claimed that he did not know what was in the paste or from where he obtained it. The attorney now handling the suit is Angel M. DeFilippo of West Orange, New Jersey.



CLAUDIA MEGARO and
ROBERT MEGARO,

Plaintiffs,

vs

DOMINIC CICERO,

Defendant.


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SUPERIOR COURT OF NEW JERSEY
LAW DIVISION
WARREN COUNTY

DOCKET NO. WRN-L-226-04

CIVIL ACTION

MEDICAL MALPRACTICE
COMPLAINT AND JURY DEMAND

Plaintiffs Claudia Megaro and Robert Megaro, residing in the Town of Philipsburg, County of Warren, State of New Jersey, by way of Complaint against Dominic Cicero, say:

FIRST COUNT

1. The Defendant Dominic Cicero is now, and at all times mentioned herein was duly licensed to practice as a dentist in the Town of Philipsburg, County of Warren, State of New Jersey, and held himself out as skilled in the field of dentistry.

2. On or about March 28, 2000, Plaintiff Claudia Megaro went to Defendant’s dental office and placed herself in the care of the Defendant for the purpose of having a root canal procedure performed, and for such other treatment as the Defendant may advise.

3. The Defendant told the Plaintiff that it \was necessary for Plaintiff to have any and all silver fillings in her teeth removed and replaced. FIe further advised the Plaintiff that she would need another tooth root canaled. The Plaintiff, relying upon said advice, authorized the Defendant to perform a root canal on the number 4 tooth, which was the tooth for which she originally came under his care, as well as to perform a root canal on the number 18 tooth, and to begin to replacing her silver fillings.

4. Plaintiff thereafter began treating with the Defendant on a regular basis. He removed some of the silver fillings and in February, 2001, advised Plaintiff that she needed yet another root canal on number 3 tooth. Plaintiff advised Defendant that she was having no pain or difficulty with the tooth, but the Defendant insisted she needed another root canal. In or about March, 2001, Plaintiff had another root canal performed on tooth number 3. She was advised at that time that the tooth needed to be extracted. Relying upon said advice, she authorized the extraction which was done on April 10, 2001. Thereafter, in the site of tooth number 3, Plaintiff began having severe pain and discomfort. She continued in the Defendant's care, and he attempted various treatments at the site, including scraping the socket, sealing the area, drilling the bone, and prescribing antibiotics. Plaintiff continued under the care of the Defendant through 2001, and he continued to treat both the site of number 3 tooth, as well as to continue to remove silver fillings, and clean her teeth.

5. Continuing into the year 2002, the Plaintiff was continuing with soreness in the area of tooth number 3. On or about May 28, 2002, the number 4 tooth broke. Based upon the advice of Defendant, on or about June 13, 2002, number 4 tooth was extracted.

6. Continuing under the Defendant's care, on or about June 17, 2002, the Plaintiff again went to the Defendant. By this point, Plaintiff was complaining of extreme pain to the entire area of her mouth, into her right eye and cheek. During that visit, the Defendant advised her that everything "looked fine", the pain was normal, and that she should massage the area. However, he then picked up a needle which he attempted to utilize on the Plaintiff, began yelling and swearing for his assistant, threw the cap of the needle over the Plaintiff's head, and jabbed the needle into her mouth. He then pushed a number of items from a Counter onto the floor and walked out of the office. He left a dental assistant to clean the Plaintiffs mouth. The Plaintiff left his office and refused to return.

7. Plaintiff continued to have complaints of pain throughout her mouth, and in particular at the site of number 3 tooth and the site of number 4 tooth. She saw a series of medical providers: including dentists, oral surgeons, and an infectious disease doctor. In or about April, 2003, she was advised that she had osteomyolitis. She subsequently had surgery performed and was advised that the bone in the site of number 3 tooth had perforated into her sinuses, and she needed antibiotic beads implanted into her jaw', and she also began hyperbolic oxygen therapy.

8. The Defendant failed to exercise proper skill and care, and was otherwise negligent and careless in the extraction of Plaintiffs teeth and subsequent treatment. He further performed needless and unnecessary procedures, claiming to the Plaintiff that any remaining silver fillings in her mouth had to be removed, which representation was untrue.

9. As a direct and proximate result of the carelessness and negligence of the Defendant, the Plaintiff has suffered and will suffer great physical pain and mental anguish, and has been put to significant expense for further medical care and attendance.

WHEREFORE, Plaintiff Claudia Megaro demands judgment against the Defendant Dominic Cicero for the following:

A. Compensatory damages;

B. Interest and costs of suit; and

C. For such other relief as the Court deems just and equitable.

SECOND COUNT

1. Plaintiff repeats the allegations contained in the First Count as if set forth at length herein.

2. At no time during the course of treatment did the Defendant recommend any other type of treatment to the Plaintiff, nor did he advise the Plaintiff that his treatment was not effective.

3. At all times referenced herein, the Defendant held himself out as being qualified to diagnose and treat the condition he had created, and Plaintiff continued to have confidence in the Defendant.

4. From the symptoms, history and continuing complaints of the Plaintiff, the Defendant as a dentist of ordinary skill and learning, applying the means and methods ordinarily and generally used by other dentists of ordinary skill and learning and practicing in the general area as the Defendant should have known that Plaintiff had a severe and significant infection and ultimately osteomyolitis, and that his treatment was ineffective, and that Plaintiff's condition was worsening. The Defendant was under a duty to advise the Plaintiff of same, and that Plaintiff's own prospects of recovery lay in other treatment.

5. The Defendant's negligence in diagnosing and treating the condition was a direct and proximate cause of its continued deterioration and resulting complaints of the Plaintiff.

6. As a direct and proximate result of the negligence and unskillful acts of the Defendant, the Plaintiff has suffered great physical pain and anguish, and has incurred significant monetary expense for further treatment.

THEREFORE, Plaintiff Claudia Megaro demands judgment against the Defendant Dominic Cicero for the following:

A. Compensatory damages; Interest and costs of suit; and For such other relief as the Court deems just and equitable.

THIRD COUNT

1. Plaintiff repeats the allegations contained in the First Count and Second Count as if set forth at length herein.

2. Defendant failed to advise the Plaintiff of the risks from the extractions and root canals.

3. The Defendant was negligent in his failure to obtain informed consent from the Plaintiff.

4. The Defendant was negligent as there was a lack of in formed consent of the Plaintiff; which negligent omission of the inherent risk was a deviation from the standard of care provided by the Defendant. The Defendant was further negligent in advising the Plaintiff that it was necessary to have all silver fillings removed from all of her teeth, as such advisement was inappropriate and without scientific basis.

5. The Defendant had a duty to disc lose to the Plaint ff all information available to allow the Plaintiff to evaluate her options. By withholding this knowledge, the Defendant was negligent and directly responsible for the injuries sustained.

WHEREFORE, Plaintiff Claudia Megaro demands judgment against the Defendant Dominic Cicero for the following:

A. Compensatory damages;

B. Interest and costs of suit; and

C. For such other relief as the Court deems just and equitable.

FOURTH COUNT

1. Plaintiff repeats the allegations contained in the First Count, Second Count and Third Count as if set forth at length herein.

2. The representations of the Defendant as to the need to remove all silver fillings from all teeth of the Plaintiff were made "with the intent to defraud the Plaintiff and to cause her to utilize the repetitive services of the Defendant.

3. Such representations were false in fact and were known to be false by the Defendant at the time they were made and that, in fact, silver fillings did not need to be removed from. the Plaintiff.

4. Plaintiff relied upon those representations and was, therefore, induced to have her fillings removed, which thereafter led to multiple root canals, and multiple extractions. The negligently extracted number 3 tooth thereafter led to further damage.

5. By reason of the aforesaid, the Plaintiff has suffered damage.

WHEREFORE, Plaintiff Claudia Megaro demands judgment against the Defendant Dominic Cicero for the following:

A. Compensatory damages;

B. Punitive damages;

C. Attorney’s fees;

D. Interest and costs of suit; and

E. For such other relief as the Court deems just and equitable.

JURY DEMAND

Plaintiffs Claudia Megaro and Robert Megaro demand a trial by jury on all Counts.

DESIGNATION OF TRIAL COUNSEL

Pursuant to Rule 4:25-4, Paul R. Rizzo, Esq. has been designated as trial counsel in connection with the above-captioned matter.

CERTIFICATION OF COUNSEL

1. Pursuant to Rule 4:5-1, the undersigned hereby certifies that at the time of filing this Complaint, the matter in controversy is not the subject. of any other action pending in any court and/or arbitration proceeding. The undersigned is unaware of any non-party who should be joined in this action.

2. I hereby certify that the foregoing statements made by me arc true. I am aware that if any of the foregoing statements made by me are willfully false, I am subject to punishment.

_____________________
PAUL R, RIZZO

Dated: May 21, 2004

This article was posted on December 8, 2007.

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