3 dentists, Washington State Dental Association sue Delta Dental

Dentists

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The Washington State Dental Association, Todd Irwin, DDS, and two other dentists filed a lawsuit against Delta Dental of Washington, claiming the dental provider needs to improve transparency and patient focus, according to the Peninsula Daily News.

In the complaint, Dennis Bradshaw, DDS, and Nathan Russell, DDS, alongside Dr. Irwin and WSDA allege different independent directors on Delta Dental's board unlawfully denied bylaw amendments that the dentists' claim were overwhelmingly passed by member dentists.

The complaint stems from a September 2017 meeting where Delta Dental member dentists petitioned for a series of bylaw amendments. These amendments were designed to improve transparency in Delta Dental's operations and better patient care, according to WSDA.

More than 2,300 dentists were present at the Sept. 6, 2017 meeting. Of those dentists, 91 percent voted in-favor of the amendments, according to the complaint. However, the complaint alleges because Delta Dental's board is largely made up of independent directors, the amendments were denied.

After the meeting, 12 member-approved amendments were vetoed by the independent directors, six member-approved amendments were denied, and three member-approved amendments were approved with conditions.

In August 2018, dentists petitioned to vote on seven of the proposed amendments. Around 1,500 members attended the Nov. 15, 2018 meeting, and 95 percent approved the changes. However, in January, Delta Dental's board announced only one amendment was accepted.

WSDA and the three dentists are asking a judge to issue a declaratory judgement, stating the bylaws will be amended as approved by members at the Nov. 15 meeting. The dentists claim the rational Delta Dental provided was ill justified.

Delta Dental is currently reviewing the complaint.

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