One previous Macon County dentists made plea agreements to official misconduct. One was last year and the other was in 2011. This came after patients found out a dental assistant was not licensed. Now, nearly three years later, a class action lawsuit against them is finally coming to a close.
Doctor Kenneth Webb and his then assistant Tamara Younker were lying to their patients. Patients said, she was performing x-rays and pulling teeth, without the proper paperwork. Now patients are finally getting paid, but not what they may have hoped for.
"We have a fund of $100,000 that's subject to the following, attorney's fees and costs, which reduced that settlement to a little over $60,000 which is to be distributed among claims" Attorney William Hourigan said.
That money will be spread thin. The attorney has 120 clients, but anyone for about eight years with no permanent injury can file a claim.
"Class members will have to fill out a form indicating that they received dental from Tamara Younker and get that form to the claim administrator before the time has ended," Hourigan added.
However, former patients don't have to file the claim if you think you deserve more money. There will be a provision on the form on how to opt out
"If you don't opt out of the class and they don't file a claim form, they won't be able to file a lawsuit later," Hourigan told WAND News.
The attorney also gave his thought regarding filing a lawsuit.
"The dentist has lost his license to practice in Illinois and I think he's going to lose it in Missouri, so it's unlikely that he's going to have a personal fund to compensate people. So my thought is that this is going to be it and that's life. It's better than nothing," Hourigan said.
Younker's probation continues. Doctor Webb made a plea agreement to official misconduct. His probation ended last May.
The attorney will be mailing out notices for his clients. If you think you may qualify for a share of this class action lawsuit, there are notice and claim forms at both the Macon County Health Department and the Macon County Circuit Clerk's Office. You must submit a claim form to the class action administrator.