Thursday, March 17, 2011

Parents preparing to sue The Smile Center–San Antonio, TX

Published 3/16/2011 6:08PM
Updated 3/17/2011  8:01AM


SAN ANTONIO - More than 70 parents are preparing to sue a local company of dental clinics called The Smile Center.  A News 4 WOAI Trouble Shooters investigation unleashed a flood of complaints by parents who say their children got poor dental treatment at the San Antonio clinics.  The San Antonio clinics have made millions on work paid for by Medicaid.
Tom Crosley runs the firm that is preparing to file suit. “In the last few weeks we've been approached by the families of 60 or 70 children to investigate whether their kids were victims of unnecessary dental work, shoddy dental work, excess dental treatment," said Crosley.
The Smile Center handed out letters to potential new patients that state the allegations are gross misrepresentation of the facts. The Smile Center also claims they are saddened and shocked that we would report this story without telling their side of the story.

Statement from Stephen Simpton

We tried repeatedly to get owner Stephen Simpton to sit down on camera and tell his company's side of the story, but he has refused.  Late Wednesday night, he did e-mail us the following statement:
Mr. Collister:
Please allow the following to constitute The Smile Center's response to WOAI's story that is apparently airing on tonight's news broadcast.  We trust that as part of your responsibility to fairly address both sides of the story, you will assure this gets acknowledged as part of your report:
"We understand News 4 WOAI is running an additional story regarding The Smile Center on tonight's broadcast.  Because WOAI has not contacted anyone at The Smile Center regarding the allegations referenced in its recent commercials, we are unaware of the specific allegations made by any of these individuals apparently claiming to be patients of The Smile Center.
The Smile Center has been the victim of sensationalized stories that grossly misrepresent the facts and sequence of events, all of which The Smile Center categorically denies.  As previously mentioned to WOAI, The Smile Center is prohibited by law from addressing the specifics of any individual patient's file without a waiver from the individual patient or their respective parent/guardian.  In light of these allegations, and in an effort to accurately portray the whole truth of these individual cases, we request Mr. Collister obtain releases from any patient claiming to have received substandard or unsatisfactory care at The Smile Center in a form substantially similar to the attached HIPAA Authorization Form so that we may fully address these allegations, and provide the actual details surrounding each patient's diagnosis and treatment.
We have always encouraged any unsatisfied patient to contact us with any issues or concerns they may have, and we are not aware that any of these patients returned to The Smile Center for any follow-up care.  The Smile Center enjoys a 98% patient approval rating according to our patient feedback forms, and we again encourage any patient to call us with any questions or concerns they may have with any of our services." 
Making smiles easy,
Stephen Simpton, DDS
Owner, The Smile Center