Women sue dentist for surgeon referral

February 25, 2009 4:39:42 AM PST
Three New Jersey women who say they were groped by an oral surgeon are now suing the dentist who referred them. Amy Metzler, Greer Smith and Brooke Chiusano are suing Steven Okeson, who runs Okeson Family Dental of Branchville.

In their lawsuit, they say Okeson referred them for oral surgery to J. Phillip Kurtz of Livingston even though another female patient had earlier complained to Okeson about being inappropriately touched by Kurtz.

A jury found the 64-year-old Kurtz civilly liable of groping Metzler, a 25-year-old from Sparta, as she recovered from anesthesia following surgery.

Kurtz denies any wrongdoing and tells The Star-Ledger of Newark that he plans to appeal the verdict. A message left Wednesday for Okeson attorney Paul Hunczak was not returned.

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Information from: The Star-Ledger, http://www.nj.com/starledger

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