Illinois dental clinic faces 11 lawsuits, 2 employees quit after cameras found in bathroom

Crestwood, Ill.-based Aspen Dental Clinic is facing 11 lawsuits filed on behalf of people who say they have been recorded by two hidden cameras found in an employee bathroom, according to a Dec. 10 news release from Chicago-based Clifford Law Offices.

The cameras were placed in the bathroom by a dental hygienist who has been criminally charged for his actions, according to the law firm. The lawsuits allege the dental hygienist apparently possessed a criminal record prior to his two-month employment, but the practice did not conduct a sufficient background check.

In addition to negligent hiring, the lawsuits also allege intrusion of seclusion and negligent supervision and retention.

The lawsuits claim the cameras were placed sometime in September, with an employee discovering the first camera Oct. 22 and another employee discovering the second one a few days later.

The 11 lawsuits represent dentists, dental hygienists, dental assistants and a dental marketing professional who claim they were videotaped by the cameras without their knowledge over a three-week period. The defendants are Aspen Dental Management, the DSO affiliated with the practice, along with the practice's owner, Abigail Brier, DMD, and her corporation, ABD Dental Management.

Two of the employees represented in the lawsuits — Trent Jones, DMD, and dental assistant Alyssa Raine — quit their jobs because of mental and emotional distress caused by the incident, according to the law firm.

"We applaud local law enforcement, particularly the arresting officer, for apprehending the alleged offender and filing criminal charges," an Aspen Dental Management spokesperson said in a statement sent to Becker's Dec. 11. "We regret this incident happened and are deeply sympathetic for the distress felt by everyone involved. Neither the independent dental practice nor Aspen Dental Management, Inc. has been served with the complaints described in the press release, so we will not be able to comment on the specifics."

Editor's note: This article was updated at 9:20 a.m. CT on Dec. 11 to include Aspen Dental Management's statement.

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