Robert Woo, an oral surgeon in Washington state implanted fake boar tusks in his assistant Tina Alberts’ mouth during the midst of implant surgery in which she was given general anesthesia. He took photos of her with boar tusks, even propping her eyelids open for some photos. Then he finished the surgery, putting the correct implants in. He didn’t give her copies of the photos, but copies circulated in the office. Then, at her office birthday party, her coworkers gave the Ms. Alberts copies of the photos. Humiliated, she quit and sued. Fireman’s Fund, his insurance company, refused to cover him as the boar tusks and photos were not a covered procedure. She got $250 thousand in an out-of-court settlement. Then Woo sued his insurance company and won the amount of the settlement plus penalties of $750 thousand for a total of a million simoleons. Insurance company appealed and prevailed in the state Court of Appeals. He appealed the appeal and prevailed in the state Supreme Court. (see here, here and here)
And that’s where it stands now.
This sadistic clown played a cruel practical joke on a patient who was also an employee and got sued. This amounted to intentional malpractice, and probably harassment as well. His insurance company didn’t cover him, because quite rightly intentional malpractice is not the kind of thing that insurance companies cover. If he shot her with a gun or murdered her with an overdose of anesthetic would the insurance company cover him in a lawsuit?
Now the Washington State Supreme Court has rewarded him with a million dollars for committing intentional malpractice and getting sued for it. Who pays for his million dollar payout for committing intentional malpractice? Who pays for the court costs in three separate trials? Who pays when the Judiciary gets it so obviously wrong?
You already know who pays. We all do.