Records Show Tulsa Dentist Settled Two Malpractice Suits In Past
TULSA, Oklahoma - We're learning more about two disturbing new cases in a Tulsa dentist's past. Thousands of Scott Harrington's current patients are being tested for HIV and hepatitis, after the state board of dentistry said he was using unsafe and unsanitary practices.
But News On 6 has uncovered one case even the state wasn't aware of.
We called the executive director of the Oklahoma dental board and she was aware of just one malpractice complaint against Dr. Harrington, but we found another case, where a patient claims she was left in constant pain due to Harrington's medical negligence.
Tulsa police went to the home of Scott Harrington Tuesday morning, because a door was wide open. They investigated if anything was taken, but say nothing appeared to be missing.
What is missing is any type of response from Harrington, since he surrendered his license for his Tulsa and Owasso offices on March 20. Days before, investigators found dirty medical tools, evidence of multiple patients being treated from the same medicine vial, and improper IV sedation practices that could have exposed thousands of patients to deadly viruses.
Harrington graduated from Tulsa Public Schools and went to the University of Oklahoma from 1966-70. He got his dentistry degree in '74 from the Washington University School of Dental Medicine in St. Louis, which later closed its program.
In 1994, a patient sued him for negligence, claiming he pulled out six teeth when he was only supposed to pull five. The patient had given Harrington a clearly labeled diagram from her own dentist, pointing out the teeth to be pulled. The woman said the mistake was embarrassing and hurt her marriage.
In 1997, another patient sued Harrington after he performed jaw reconstruction surgery. She said her jaw never healed and the pain wouldn't stop.
The lawsuit said Harrington didn't do any tests, telling her it was all in her head and she just wanted to get high on pain pills. The patient claimed she went to another doctor for an MRI and found fragments of foreign materials in her jaw, believed to be left by Harrington.
Both cases were settled out of court for an undisclosed amount.
The Tulsa County Health Department says more than 1,200 of Harrington's patients have now been tested for HIV and hepatitis.
The department also set up a hotline for questions. It's fielded 1,500 calls so far. If you have questions, you can speak with a health worker by calling 918-595-4500.