A Jacksonville, Florida, pediatric dentist accused of abusing and mistreating patients, in what some have referred to as a “house of horrors,” has voluntarily given up his license and agreed to stop practicing medicine, the Florida Department of Health said.
Fla. dentist accused of running ‘house of horrors’ relinquishes license
But Brandi Motley, the mother who started the campaign against Dr. Howard Schneider, said the dentist’s punishment should extend far beyond just ending his practice.
“He’s looking for an easy way out. I mean, that’s what I wanted was his license to be taken, but him voluntarily doing it, I feel he’s looking for an easy way out,” Motley said, according to News4jax.
Schneider — who is facing at least 10 separate lawsuits for medical malpractice and neglect — is accused by plaintiffs of intentionally hurting patients, performing unwanted medical procedures and causing permanent damage.
Motley filed one of the lawsuits against the dentist on behalf of her 6-year-old daughter Briel, who had nine teeth pulled by Schneider for unknown reasons. The young girl also claimed that Schneider hit and choked her.
Motley said that when she reported the incident to police, they told her the case was a civil matter.
She told News4jax, “If I would’ve done that to my daughter, I would’ve gone to jail and my kids would’ve been taken.”
In another case, deaf mother Amanda Barry claimed that her 5-year-old son, Dominic — who is blind in one eye — had two front teeth removed for “unknown reasons.” The complaint also alleges that Dominic was “terrified and told stories of the dentist choking [him],” according to WGN-TV.
Dominic claimed he yelled for his mother, but because she is deaf, she could not hear him.
“The State Attorney’s Office investigated Schneider in 2013 after a girl said he slapped her during a procedure, but prosecutors didn’t press charges because, according to records, Schneider and the staff ‘denied anything inappropriate happened’ and there was an ‘improbability of conviction at trial,’” details News4jax.
The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office has reportedly responded to Schneider’s practice more than 160 times over the past 20 years.
In addition to complaints about mistreatment, police have responded to various disputes, a report of vandalism and even a death threat.
On two occasions, protesters picketing Schneider’s office accused him of trying to run them over with his car.
Attorney John Phillips, who currently represents the families of 50 children, said that calls keep rolling in about the dentist.
“I think here might be a couple hundred that have claims by the time all is said and done,” Phillips reportedly said. “One child against a 45-year dentist is one thing, but when you have this many, it speaks for itself.”
The State Board of Dentistry will be discussing Schneider’s case at their board meeting next Friday. During that meeting, they should decide whether they approve the relinquishment of his license.