Dentist Implants Fake Boar Tusks

While operating on one of his employees, Dentist Robert Woo temporarily implanted fake boar tusks in her mouth and took photos of her. The boar tusks, he claimed, were merely a practical joke -- an allusion to the pot-bellied pigs her family raises. He hoped the joke would help foster a "friendly working environment."

Unfortunately, the employee wasn't amused when she later saw the photos. She sued him for outrage, battery, and invasion of privacy. Woo asked his insurance company to represent him, but they refused, saying that the joke was intentional and not a normal business activity. Therefore, Woo had to hire a lawyer on his own and eventually reached a settlement with his employee in which he paid her $250,000. Here's what happened next:
Woo sued the insurers. King County Superior Court agreed with him that Fireman's had a duty to defend him. A jury awarded him $750,000, plus the $250,000 he was out, as well as lawyers' fees - well over $1 million all told. The state appeals court threw that out and Woo appealed to the high court, and now has won the full amount, plus his appellate legal bills.
I'm not normally sympathetic to insurance companies, but it sounds like they have a point. His strange practical joke doesn't seem work related.

Health/Medicine Pranks

Posted on Fri Jul 27, 2007


Well it all worked out pretty nice for all involved, except the insurers! 250k for the employee and 750k for the dentist, plus his 250k back!! Unbelievable. Soon everyone will be doing this. "it was a practical joke, where's my money?"
Posted by mr royale  on  Fri Jul 27, 2007  at  04:41 AM
If I read it right, it looks like the case hinged on the fact that (even though they were unnecessarily shaped) the 'tusks' themselves were bridges needed for the operation. Still seems a bit tenuous... I was going to say he got out of that one by the skin of his teeth, but that would be a really shite shoke so I won't.
Posted by outeast  on  Fri Jul 27, 2007  at  06:26 AM
"Do you swear to tell the tooth, the whole tooth, and nothing but the tooth, so help me Hog?"
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Fri Jul 27, 2007  at  09:41 AM
Wouldn't mind having a gander at the offending photographs.
Posted by Chris Carlisle  on  Fri Jul 27, 2007  at  11:05 AM
I'm with Chris. This story would be a whole lot more fun if we could see the pictures. Without them, it's like doing finger shadows on the radio.
Posted by Big Gary  on  Fri Jul 27, 2007  at  04:54 PM
Just think, he created a created a hostile work environment for his assistant and got well paid for it.
Posted by Bob  on  Sat Jul 28, 2007  at  01:12 PM
Just think, he created a hostile work environment for his assistant and got well paid for it.

That was some bad proofreading on the other line.
Posted by Bob  on  Sat Jul 28, 2007  at  01:24 PM
I can do you one better than THIS story. I live here in Joplin, Missouri. A Joplin Police Officer, Josh Smith, and his sister posted a gay personal ad on MySpace complete with my personal information and a series of my photos. The police report number is 07-19320. The report is available to the public at the Joplin Polic Department. Although the police investigation states that, he, as an employee of the Joplin Police Department did in fact create AND post the ad on MySpace utilizing police department time and equipment, they refuse to do ANYTHING to him at all... He still wears a badge and a gun, and continues his corrupt and illegal activity at tax payer expense.
Posted by Christopher  on  Sun Jul 29, 2007  at  08:24 AM
Chris Carlisle and Big Gary ... check out this link.

Probably the next best thing to seeing the actual photos.

Posted by Laurie  on  Sun Jul 29, 2007  at  10:35 AM
I can see why the employee sued but I can't believe the insurance had to pay out for this clown, surely the coverage would have been for medical negligence claims?
Posted by dental surgery  on  Sun Jan 16, 2011  at  01:00 AM
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