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Archive for Saturday, August 21, 1999

DEATH

August 21, 1999

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A Douglas County District Court judge recently approved a $450,000 wrongful death case settlement between a Kansas City area dentist and the parents of an Ottawa girl who died after getting a tooth extracted.

The dentist, Dr. Thomas Schugel, and the parents, Barry and Debbie Lysaught, reached an agreement before the case went to trial. The Lysaughts will receive about $268,015 after attorney fees, court records show.

Attorneys brought the case to Douglas County to avoid publicity in the Johnson County area, Schugel's attorney, Richard T. Merker, said Thursday.

"The court has to approve any judgment and must approve attorney fees," Merker explained.

In their petition for damages, the Lysaughts said their daughter Allison, then 15, went to Schugel's office Nov. 5, 1998, to get a tooth extracted for orthodontic work. In the dentist's chair, she "experienced breathing complications and other medical problems," the petition says. The girl died Dec. 22.

In his journal entry approving the settlement, Douglas County District Judge Michael Malone said Allison died as a direct result of Schugel's negligence.

Because of a confidentiality agreement, attorneys would not discuss why the girl died.

Efforts to reach Schugel on Friday were unsuccessful. Schugel practices as a dentist and oral and maxillofacial surgeon. Allison had gone to see Schugel at his Lenexa office. According to a Kansas City area phone book, Schugel also practices in Prairie Village and Olathe.

-- Deb Gruver's phone message number is 832-7165. Her e-mail address is dgruver@ljworld.com.

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