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Former Patient Suing Tulsa Dentist Under Investigation

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Dr. Scott Harrington. Dr. Scott Harrington.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

A former patient of embattled Tulsa dentist Scott Harrington is suing the doctor for negligence.

It's the first lawsuit since investigators said Harrington may have exposed 7,000 to HIV and hepatitis.

This plaintiff knows she's virus-free, but says she still suffered at Harrington's hand.

Attorney Patrick Carr said his client filed a negligence lawsuit against Dr. Scott Harrington as a matter of public safety.

4/2/2013 Related Story: Records Show Tulsa Dentist Settled Two Malpractice Suits In Past

"She's a very private person, she lives a private life with her family and she wants to keep it that way, but she's taken the step forward here, because she realizes this is very important," Carr said.

Harrington removed the plaintiff's wisdom teeth in 2009. The lawsuit says she developed an infection, rash, high fever and liver problems in the weeks after the extraction.

"She did receive an infection, because of the improper sterilization techniques," Carr said. "Thank goodness, it wasn't one of the more dreaded things, like hepatitis or HIV."

The suit says she had no reason to believe Harrington had done anything wrong until a few weeks ago. That's when the Oklahoma Board of Dentistry says it found numerous sterilization violations, evidence of patients being treated out of the same medicine vial and dental assistants illegally performing certain duties like IV sedation.

4/3/2013 Related Story: Embattled Tulsa Dentist Releases Statement About Investigation

"We have a situation here, where the normal safeguards which are in place when people go to dentists and oral surgeons failed a large number of people," Carr said.

More than 2,200 former Harrington patients have now been tested for HIV and hepatitis.

Carr says his client tested negative, but filed the lawsuit because of infection control and sterilization problems.

"Without these kinds of lawsuits, people will never know whether or not the safety rules were really breached," he said.

Attorneys aren't saying how much money they're suing for physical and mental pain and suffering.

Harrington's lawyer wasn't available to comment and hasn't returned our calls.

Read The Lawsuit Filed Against Dr. Scott Harrington

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