PHILADELPHIA – A Philadelphia plaintiff’s million-dollar negligence and vicarious liability lawsuit against the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania for supposed failure to treat a tooth infection was recently drilled out of state court for failure to properly allege a cause of action, according to a judge.

Charles Talbert filed suit in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas on July 18 versus the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, also of Philadelphia.

On July 12, Talbert said he visited the defendant hospital for treatment of pain related to a two year-old tooth infection – one which he alleges started out as a mere tooth cavity and progressed to an infection, because it was missed by dentists employed by the Philadelphia Prison System when he was detained under its care. Talbert explained he communicated this alleged negligence to the nurses and doctors he saw at the hospital.

“Plaintiff attempted to show the medical staff, nurse and doctor all medical records and referrals from the PPS’ dental department and dental from Elite Dental, that were given to him in regards to a two year-old tooth infection that spread into plaintiff’s bone,” Talbert stated.

“The doctor and nurse failed to take reasonable steps to provide plaintiff with a full evaluation of his medical records and when plaintiff requested to receive Percocets for his severe, excruciating pain and infection, he was denied the medication. The doctor and nurse employed by the defendants insisted that plaintiff take ‘only’ Motrin, an ‘over-the-counter medication’ that plaintiff could have bought at a nearby Rite Aid,” Talbert said.

Talbert said he explained to the medical personnel present that Motrin did not provide any help and that his infection “required a strong narcotic”, then presenting a copied prescription for Percocet he claims to have received from an oral surgeon.

“[Plaintiff] tried to have the doctor and nurse examine the copied prescription but they both refused to examine the copied prescription, and maliciously dismissed plaintiff,” Talbert stated.

Talbert stated the attending doctor and nurse, for what he claimed was “no justifiable reason," contacted security and had the plaintiff removed from the emergency room. Talbert added he attempted to file a complaint with the patient advocate, but the hospital security staff followed him and demanded he leave the premises.

Talbert claimed he felt “embarrassed, humiliated and racially discriminated against” by the defendant hospital’s medical and security staff, received no treatment for the pain associated with his two year-old tooth infection and, as a result, filed suit for negligence and vicarious liability against the hospital.

Talbert's lawsuit sought “compensatory and punitive damages in the amount of $1,000,000.”

Upon review of the complaint, Judge Idee C. Fox dismissed Talbert’s complaint the following day, July 19, without prejudice for “failure to allege the necessary elements of the stated cause of action.”

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 170701522

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at

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