Investment guru settles out of court with dentist

Terms of settlement, reached after mediation session, not revealed

By Bryna Sim

INVESTMENT guru Jim Rogers has reached an out-of-court settlement with dental surgeon Ernest Rex Tan over ceramic bondings on his teeth that fell off.

But both sides declined to give details of the terms of the settlement, which was reached after a mediation session at the Singapore Mediation Centre last month. Mr Rogers’ lawyer, Mr Jonathan Yuen, told The Straits Times yesterday that the settlement “was satisfactory to Mr Rogers”. Dr Tan said both parties had dropped their claims against each other.

In his suit, Mr Rogers, 69, a permanent resident in Singapore, had wanted to be reimbursed the $48,150 he spent on the ceramic enhancements to his teeth.

He had sued Dr Tan of Smile Inc Dental for negligence, alleging the dental surgeon had recommended treatments that were unsuitable for his teeth, The Straits Times reported in June.

Dr Tan, 43, counter-claimed for alleged defamation.

Mr Rogers claimed that in August 2009, he had consulted Dr Tan about his temporomandibular joint disorder, which was causing neck and shoulder pains.

He alleged that Dr Tan suggested partial coverage bonded ceramic restoration.

Court papers said that within a year, six of the enhancements done on 20 of his teeth had fallen off.

Mr Rogers then asked for a reimbursement of the $48,150 he had spent on the enhancements, as well as an unspecified amount of compensation.

When contacted yesterday, Dr Tan said it was the first time in his 21 years of dental practice that he had been sued for such a matter.

“It wasn’t a negligence issue. The matter could have been easily solved. I could have just bonded it back for him. Bringing the matter to court was totally unnecessary,” he told The Straits Times.

Reiterating a point he made in his affidavit, he said Mr Rogers suffered “no permanent injury”.

Dr Tan, in the June newspaper report, said Mr Rogers had wanted cosmetic enhancements to his teeth, and not treatment for the joint disorder.

He added yesterday: “All necessary steps were taken to ensure success, and besides, patient compliance is important.”

Mr Rogers had reportedly ignored his advice to wear a dental splint after the treatment.

Dr Tan said he was glad the matter could be “amicably resolved”.

When contacted, Mr Rogers declined to comment on the matter.