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Williams v. Benshetrit

United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania

August 13, 2019

DEON WILLIAMS
v.
ABRAHAM BENSHETRIT, D.M.D. et al.

          MEMORANDUM RE: MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE AMENDED COMPLAINT

          BAYLSON, J.

         I. Introduction

         In this personal injury case resulting from alleged misrepresentations made during dental surgery, Plaintiff seeks to amend his Complaint to add claims for:

• Violation of the Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law, 73 P.S. Sec. 201-1-201-9.2 (“UTPCPL”) (Count IV);
• Fraudulent intentional misrepresentation (Count V); and
• Negligent misrepresentation (Count VI).

(Mot., ECF 29.) Defendants oppose Plaintiff's Motion to Amend, claiming that amendment would be futile. (Resp., ECF 32.) For the reasons that follow, Plaintiff's Motion to Amend will be granted in part and denied in part.

         II. Alleged Facts

         On February 13, 2018, Plaintiff Deon Williams visited dentist Defendant Dr. Abraham Benshetrit at the Saltz Dental Center. Plaintiff's Complaint is not specific as to the purpose for this visit. Plaintiff alleges that Dr. Benshetrit advised him that he needed a root canal, and attempted the procedure. (Compl., ECF 1 ¶¶ 14 & 17). During the procedure, Dr. Benshetrit was unable to get Plaintiff's mouth numb and sent him home with antibiotics. (Id. ¶¶ 17 & 18).

         On February 20, 2018, Plaintiff returned to Dr. Benshetrit to proceed with the root canal. (Id. ¶ 19). During this visit, Plaintiff alleges that Dr. Benshetrit “negligently and carelessly failed to locate the nerve canals and perforated the tooth and the furcation” and then “negligently and carelessly attempted to extract tooth number 18 and was unable to do so.” (Id. ¶¶ 21 & 22.). Plaintiff alleges that prior to the root canal, Dr. Benshetrit assured Plaintiff that he had “years of experience and done hundreds of root canals on similar teeth without issue or problems and that Williams would be fine.” (Prop. Am. Compl., Mot. Ex. A ¶ 28.) Plaintiff alleges that “tooth number 18 was permanently damaged and required extraction and a bone graft with implant/crown placement.” (Compl. ¶ 25.)

         III. Legal Standard

         The Court should grant leave to file an Amended Complaint under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15(a) unless there is “undue delay, bad faith, dilatory motive on the part of the movant, repeated failure to cure deficiencies by amendments previously allowed, undue prejudice to the opposing party by virtue of allowance of the amendment, futility of amendment, etc.” Foman v. Davis, 371 U.S. 178, 182 (1962); see also In re Burlington Coat Factory Sec. Litig., 114 F.3d 1410, 1434 (3d Cir. 1997).

         Defendants assert that amendment of Plaintiff's Complaint would be futile. Futility “means that the complaint, as amended, would fail to state claim upon which relief could be granted.” Shane v. Fauver, 213 F.3d 113, 115 (3d. Cir. 2000). The standard used to assess futility is the same as that under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). Id. at 115. This standard requires that “a complaint contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'” Taylor v. Pathmark Inc., 2013 WL 943359, at *2 (E.D. Pa. Mar. 12, 2013) (quoting Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009)).

         IV. The Parties' Contentions

         A. ...


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