Florida Pediatric Dentist Faces Class-Action Lawsuit From Angry Parents
An embattled Jacksonville dentist has officially relinquished his dental license and declared he’ll never practice in the state again following a long string of incidents involving child patients, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union.
Howard Schneider offered his license voluntarily to the Florida Board of Dentistry last month in the wake of several lawsuits that allege he abused juvenile patients while administering them care, according to the report.
A representative with the Florida Department of Health told the Times-Union that this voluntary handing-over means Schneider will effectively be banned from working as a dentist in the state and also from applying for a dental license in another state.
The state’s 11-member Board of Dentistry unanimously voted to accept Schneider’s license.
Current Allegations Against the Dentist
Schneider is currently facing a number of lawsuits from parents of children he allegedly abused while working as their dentist. Schneider’s dental office closed on May 15 in the wake of the lawsuits. He is also facing a criminal investigation by the Florida Attorney General’s Office’s Medicaid Fraud Unit, the report states.
Parents have protested outside Schneider’s office, alleging the dentist performed numerous unnecessary procedures, including pulling teeth that needn’t be pulled, that cost them thousands in dental bills.
Some of these unnecessary procedures harmed the juveniles, the parents told the Times-Union.
Schneider said he closed his office after three weeks of protests left him without any patients or staff.
The list of accusations against Schneider is lengthy. In 2013, a parent filed a battery report against the dentist after the parent said that he “grabbed her daughter’s face several times” and then slapped her. Years before, in 2001, another woman alleged that her 5-year-old son was choked by the dentist while at an appointment, according to the report. However, no charges were ever filed in either case.
Last month, four people joined a class-action lawsuit against the dentist. The four are all parents who said their children were poorly treated or physically hurt by the dentist.
The lawsuit alleges that Schneider’s dental practice was merely a “sadistic and systematic scheme of physical and psychological torture and abuse” of “utterly defenseless” children, according to a report in First Coast News.
The lawsuit, filed in the 4th Judicial Circuit Court in Duval County, alleges that he physically injured child patients, botched dental work and more.
The parents are seeking $15,000 in damages. The lawsuit alleges that the pediatric dentist preyed especially on low-income patients, according to the report, to “limit the ability of these … unsuspecting parents and families to protect their children.”
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