If I left my dentist mid-treatment as I was told that work would not be completed as agreed, what happens if I don’t sign her release?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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If I left my dentist mid-treatment as I was told that work would not be completed as agreed, what happens if I don’t sign her release?

I went to a dentist for extensive dental work, paid $54,000 upfront to get a 10% discount. We were told that that would cover the work. She ground down all 32 teeth, many without previous fillings, and damaged and injured many to the point of needing root canals. She put me in temporaries, then said she could not make the corrections as originally contracted she lacked the skills but refuses to admit that. We had to leave and find a new dentist, who has completed the work well and without problem. The original dentist is now claiming that we owe her $9,150 to pay her back the original discount plus lab work but will forgive that amount if we sign a release form General Release of all Claims. In the cover page she said,

Asked on January 29, 2019 under Malpractice Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

In theory, she could try to sue you for the money for not completing the agreement. But if you can show that she 1) was negligent or careless about doing the work; and/or 2) committed fraud by lying about what she could or would do; and/or 3) breached the contract or agreement by not completing the agreed upon work, you should have a good defense or defenses to her claim and in turn be able to countersue her (e.g. for any additional amounts you had to pay the other dentist to complete or correct her work). She would be unwise to sue for the money under the circumstances you describe.

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