Insurer Must Pay for a Surgeons Prank
When a dental assistant needed a couple of dental implants, her boss, Dr. Woo, offered to do the work. While she was under anesthesia, though, he first temporarily installed a couple of fake boar tusks and took some snapshots of his handiwork, including a few with her eyes propped open. Then he swapped in the real implants and woke her up none the wiser. She only found out later, when a coworker gave her prints of the photos for her birthday.
Naturally she was mortified, and naturally she sued. The insurance company refused to defend him, so Dr. Woo settled out of court, paying $250,000, and then sued the company. On what grounds? Well, the doctor reportedly argued, what he did with the tusks was an integral, if unorthodox, part of a legitimate dental procedure, and the jokiness was just part of his policy of maintaining a friendly work environment. He won. He got $1,000,000 (including the $250,000 he paid the assistant).