Friday, January 23, 2004

Pennsylvania Dentist loses license, now in jail

Jenny Stephens of Lansdale PA successfully sued an Ambler dentist for medical malpractice after finding out he performed a tooth extraction on her despite the fact that he “had bipolar disorder and an alcohol dependency that was under investigation by the Pennsylvania medical board concerning his fitness to practice dentistry‚” according to her lawsuit.

A tooth extraction performed by Dr. Gary William Pacropis in May 2000 left her unable to continue to perform her regular work. The procedure damaged the trigeminal nerve in her mouth‚ her jawbone became infected‚ and the right side of her mouth now droops down.
“It appears as if I had a stroke‚” Stephens said. “My life totally changed as I know it‚ and even talking hurts. Before this happened‚ I was always front and center.” Her only solution now is brain surgery‚ a risky procedure she won’t consider despite the fact that she lives with constant pain.

Stephens said she doesn’t know what she would’ve done had she not sued Pacropis‚ who in her words‚ “mutilated my mouth” during a routine tooth extraction in May 2000. “I’d be bankrupt‚” she said “I’d be penniless and I would lose everything I worked hard for all my life.”

Pacropis’ dental license was indefinitely suspended in February 2002‚ after he pleaded guilty to “crimes or misdemeanors involving moral turpitude‚” according to The Pennsylvania State Department’s Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs. Pacropis’ medical license was revoked permanently in August 2002 after he pleaded guilty and was sentenced in July 2002 for his fifth drunken-driving arrest in Montgomery County‚ according to court records. He remains in Montgomery County prison‚ according to county prison officials.

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