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Malpractice Suit Charges Dentures Lodged In Esophagus

August 7, 1986

STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) _ A 96-year-old man who says his lower dentures became lodged in his esophagus during an operation has filed a $15,000 malpractice suit against a hospital and his doctor.

David Stone’s lawsuit, filed in Stamford Superior Court on July 17, charges that his lower dentures were found attached to his esophagus six months after chest surgery at Norwalk Hospital. The dentures were discovered during an X- ray examination at another hospital where he went for ear surgery.

Stone and his wife, Ann, claim Dr. George W. Hebard of New Canaan and the Norwalk Hospital medical staff neglected to remove the dental bridges before Stone was sedated and underwent a chest contusion operation on March 6, 1984.

The lawsuit charges that as a result, David Stone suffered severe injury to the esophagus. The lawsuit says he has problems swallowing, has lost weight and has suffered physical and mental pain and anguish.

Further, the lawsuit contends that Mrs. Stone was deprived of the comfort and association of her husband, and that she has been and will be unable to attend to normal household tasks and family responsibilities.

Mrs. Stone and Norwalk Hospital spokesman Bruce Hutchison declined comment on Tuesday. Hebard did not return repeated phone calls.

The lawsuit said that two days after the surgery, on March 8, 1984, a private duty nurse hired by the Stones found the upper dental bridge in the bed linen at the hospital. The next day, on March 9, a dentist discovered that David Stone’s lower bridge was missing.

Stone was discharged from Norwalk Hospital on March 19, 1984, and transferred to Waveny Care Center in New Canaan, where he stayed until May 4, 1984, the lawsuit said.

When Stone was admitted to St. Joseph Medical Center on Aug. 2, 1984, for surgery on his right ear, a chest X-ray revealed that the missing dental bridge was lodged in the esophagus, the lawsuit said.

Three days later, doctors at St. Joseph removed the bridge.

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