Dentistry,  Oral Surgery

Practical Joker Dr. Robert Woo Wins in the Washington Supreme Court

Well, Dr. Robert Woo won yesterday in the Washington Supreme Court and he won BIG.

An oral surgeon who temporarily implanted fake boar tusks in his assistant’s mouth as a practical joke and got sued for it has ended up with the last laugh.

Dr. Robert Woo of Auburn had put the phony tusks in while the woman was under anesthesia for a different procedure. He took them out before she awoke, but first he shot photos that eventually made it around the office.

The employee, Tina Alberts, felt so humiliated when she saw the pictures that she quit and sued her boss.

Woo’s insurance company, Fireman’s Fund, refused to cover the claim, saying the practical joke was intentional and not a normal business activity his insurance policy covered, so Woo settled out of court. He agreed to pay Alberts $250,000, then sued his insurers.

A King County Superior Court jury sided with Woo, ordering Fireman’s Fund to pay him $750,000, plus the out-of-court settlement. The insurance company won the next round, with the state Court of Appeals saying the prank had nothing to do with Woo’s practice of dentistry. On Thursday, the state Supreme Court restored Woo’s award.

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.

And, Flap is so glad his daughters have gone into the law.

For this Friday, you readers, cannot ever say that Flap does not blog on dental issues.

And, lastly, for Dr. Woo with a big hat tip to Anthony York:



The You Tube author removed it from being embedded but you can watch it here.

Oral Surgeon Moron: Pot Bellied Pig

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