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Jonathan PopeJonathan Pope (Alison Church/Freelance)

A 33-year-old mother of four who alleged in a dental malpractice lawsuit filed in DeKalb County State Court that shoddy work by a drug-addicted dentist ruined her teeth has won a $2.8 million verdict against the dentist’s employer after a rare trifurcated trial ended at the close of the first phase.

Plaintiff Haley Buice began seeing Dr. James Cauley in February 2008 at the Acworth office of his employer, Coast Dental of Georgia. In her initial complaint against Coast Dental filed in 2010, Buice alleged that Cauley recommended implanting veneers but performed work below the minimum standard of care. Specifically, she contended, Cauley improperly fitted more than a dozen crowns, proposed unnecessary treatment on good teeth and ignored problems with others.

“The client paid over $20,000, much of which was never documented in her billing,” said Buice’s attorney, Jonathan Pope of Hasty Pope. “The dentist ultimately left in the middle of treatment and Coast Dental failed to complete the work.”

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