Parents: Dentist Harmed 131 Kids, Made Millions Doing So

Dr. Howard Schneider may face criminal trial
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 26, 2016 2:03 PM CDT
Parents: Dentist Harmed 131 Kids, Made Millions Doing So
This photo taken Oct. 12, 2011, shows Howard Schneider, a pediatric dentist.   (Mike Clark/The Florida Times-Union via AP)

A Florida mother says she brought her then-6-year-old daughter in for a dental appointment to get a tooth extracted with Dr. Howard Schneider in 2014—but, instead, she came in to the procedure room to find her daughter "face-first" on the bloody floor with scratches, bruises, and all eight of her front teeth extracted. When Brandi Motley couldn't get an attorney to take her case, she "turned her minivan into a rolling billboard attack on Schneider," ABC News reports. Then, in April 2015, she posted about her experience on Facebook, and the post went viral. She found other parents who said they'd had similar experiences—they allege Schneider, who catered to children in low-income families, performed unnecessary procedures, harming their kids in the process, in order to collect millions in Medicaid funds—and they started protesting outside Schneider's clinic.

Ultimately, the attorney who'd at first refused the case took on 131 individual lawsuits against Schneider, settling 104 of them thus far, but Schneider continues to insist he's done nothing wrong. After the protests had been going on for weeks, Schneider shut down his clinic after more than 50 years of practicing dentistry, and voluntarily gave up his dental license—which meant he avoided a full investigation by the dental board. In November 2015, he was arrested and charged with 11 counts of Medicaid provider fraud; he pleaded not guilty and may go to trial, although his defense team is seeking to have the 78-year-old declared mentally incompetent in order to avoid a trial, News 4 Jax reports. In May, USA Today reported that some parents accuse Schneider of going so far as to choke his patients into unconsciousness rather than using anesthetic. (More dentist stories.)

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