I would consider talking to a consumer fraud or medical malpractice attorney in yoru area. Depending upon the specific facts and the consumer protection laws in California, you may have a consumer fraud claim against the dentist. Consumer protection statutes (dependign upon your state) can provide 2 or 3 times the amount of actual damages along with payment of your attorney fees. By speaking to an attorney you might have an opportunity to recover a larger sum. Of course, this assumes that you will be able to prove liabiltiy. Good luck.
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No. You don't take this to small claims court. By filing in small claims court you are making the announcement that "I have a small case". Small claims court is a valid and productive forum for many types of claims, for example disputes over home repair jobs, collection by businesses of smaller unpaid accounts, and disputes between private individuals.
Your issues require sorting through the facts to separate contract claims from medical malpractice claims and from a brief summary internet posting it is impossiblre to determine.
I agree with Attorney Myers. Don't file this case in small claims court.
Frank W. Chen is licensed to practice law in the State of California. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, consult your own attorney.
It may be some of a Herculean task to take your dentist to Small Claims Court and you would be limited in damages, and if that is all you can afford to do, then that is all you can do. To prevail, in all probability, you would have to get a letter signed under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of California of another dentist who would verify your belief in regard to the present dentist not fulfilling his obligation and you being overcharged.
Another possibility is you could file a Complaint with the District Attorney's Consumer Fraud Division and see if you can get them interested in taking some action. This would be an expensive case to retain the services of legal counsel and we would also have to hire a qualified dentist as an expert witness to put on the case. It would be very expensive.
I hope this is helpful.
John N. Kitta