Chef Sues Dentist After Botched Extraction Ruins Career

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Talk about expensive taste. An ex-chef has sued the dentist who botched his wisdom tooth extraction in 2013. In a judgment released earlier this month, the plaintiff will be awarded over S$100,000 or over $75,000 in USD.

Pawel Gajewski, an Australian, was living and working in Singapore at the time of the procedure. In fact, Gajweski was the head chef at the Tippling Club, a high-end restaurant. He claimed to have been earning over S$4,350, or $3,157, a month that year.

On that day in 2013, dentist Dr. Lee Tong Lynn was prepared to perform a routine extraction. However, complications arose. Lee tried, unsuccessfully, to remove one tooth for three hours. This extended procedure resulted in permanent damage to Gajweski’s lingual nerve. The promising chef was now unable to taste or even detect texture or temperature with the right side of his mouth.

A Promising Career Ended

Obviously, a discerning sense of taste is an essential part of the job of a chef. With his taste ruined, Gajweski’s food suffered. Colleagues soon noticed. His own sous-chef tested him. When faced with two dishes – one normal and one overly salted – Gajewski was unable to taste a difference.

Gajewski eventually hung up his chef’s hat for good. Presently, the 32-year-old runs his own restaurant consultancy business, Ruminate Concepts. Yet, he doesn’t enjoy the same pay grade or job stability as before. Not to mention, he lost the career trajectory he had worked towards since age 19.

Judge Rules in Chef’s Favor

On September, Deputy Registar Hairul Hakkim released his judgment. Lee is to pay Gajewski S$75,000 for the loss of the chef’s earning capacity. Furthermore, the dentist will have to pay an addition S$32,000 for pain and suffering and toward medical expenses.

In the judgment, the Deputy Registar agreed that Gajewski’s chef career was abruptly ended by the botched procedure. “He would clearly not be as competent in this job as another chef who has fully functioning taste buds,” he wrote.

If this story left a sour taste in your mouth about extractions, be sure to read some positive stories of procedures gone right!

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