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Zoeller goes after closed Allcare Dental chain

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A chain of dental offices that abruptly closed multiple Indiana locations in December 2010 left patients without care, refunds or records, according to a complaint filed by the Office of the Indiana Attorney General.

Attorney General Greg Zoeller has filed a complaint against Allcare Dental & Dentures, which closed offices in Anderson, Avon, Evansville, Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, Mishawaka and Muncie. The complaint alleges multiple licensing violations against company president Robert Bates.

The AG’s office said in a statement that it filed a complaint with the Indiana State Board of Dentistry, claiming that Bates gave employees two days notice that offices would close for two weeks beginning Dec. 18, 2010. Days before the offices were to reopen, Bates told workers that the offices were permanently closed.

The complaint says Allcare failed to reimburse patients who paid upfront for services that weren’t completed; failed to complete dental procedures in progress; and didn’t provide dentures that were fabricated. The Board of Dentistry is unable to provide restitution to customers, but Zoeller said consumer restitution is being sought separately by his office through bankruptcy proceedings.

“This formal licensing complaint is part of our office’s consumer protection effort to hold Indiana’s professional license holders to the standards required by the state – both in terms of quality of care and service,” Zoeller said in a statement.
 
According to the AG’s office, Bates’ failure to notify patients of the closing violates state law requiring dentists to notify patients in writing or by publication once a week for three consecutive weeks in the newspaper. The AG’s office said dentists were locked out of their offices and unable to notify patients or make reasonable arrangements to transfer patient records as the law requires.

Massachusetts, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio and West Virginia also have taken actions against Bates’ dental licenses for similar violations. Bates has settled or been party to consent agreements with the licensing boards of each of those states, according to the AG’s complaint.

The Indiana State Board of Dentistry is scheduled to conduct a hearing on the complaint Oct. 5.



 

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  1. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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