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Friday, October 28, 2011

Marissa Kingery, Elyria Teen, Dies After Trip to Dentist (Updated)

Posted By on Fri, Oct 28, 2011 at 10:00 AM

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Update III: $1 million is the final settlement between the family of Marissa Kingery, the 13-year-old who died during a routine dental procedure, and the insurance company for Henry Mazorow, the now-retired dentist who performed the sedation.

According to the Chronicle Telegram:


Marissa’s parents, Amber McEwen of Elyria and Jason Kingery of Sheffield Lake, each will receive $331,056, and their attorney Michael Czack will receive $318,000 and about $4,000 in expenses, according to documents filed in Lorain County Common Pleas Court on Thursday.

The CT also reports that Mazorow, who retired September 1, did not want to settle. “If there was a settlement, it was not done by me, because I demanded an investigation,” he told the paper. — Grzegorek

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Update II : The coroner has ruled Marissa Kingery's death an accident due to "lack of oxygen to the brain after she was sedated with four drugs," according to the Chronicle Telegram.

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Update: When originally posted, this article contained comments from a user on the Morning Journal web site claiming to know details of the case. Since the posting, the comments were determined to be inaccurate and removed from the paper's site. Scene has also scrapped the comments.

Elyria middle schoolers got a horrible shock when they returned to the classroom this week: one of their own had died after a seemingly rote trip to the dentist.

13-year-old Marissa Kingery passed away on Monday. She’d been in the hospital since December 21, when the 8th grade honor student stopped off at Dr. Henry Mazorow’s office in Lorain; the procedure, according to reports, was for the removal of two teeth and work on a third.

At some point in the procedure something went wrong and the girl was rushed to Mercy Regional Medical Center, where she reportedly lapsed into a coma.

An autopsy was done by the Cuyahoga County Coroner’s Office, but a cause of death has yet to be determined. “We’re doing the toxicology screens as well, because she was under anesthetics,” Powell Caesar, the coroner’s spokesman, tells Scene. The screens typically take weeks to run.

As with any tragedy lighting-striking out of left-field, community members are reacting with equal parts sympathy and anger. A lot of this is playing out in the comment sections attached to news reports of Marissa’s passing. On the Morning-Journal’s web site, users both defend and put Mazorow in the crosshairs. According to reports, the dentist has been practicing for more than 50 years and has had no disciplinary actions taken against him by the state dental board. Yet, user “Alphadog” writes:


Dr. Mazarow extracted a bad tooth and he could hardly do the job. Im on the young girls side on this. Theres know way this should have happen. Me personaly would have choose a differant doctor . . . This guy needs to retire and close that place down asap.

Many other commenters say the doctor is on the up and up. “Christian Mom” is a good example:

Dr. Mazarow is a very good and professional oral surgeon. My son had all 4 of his impacted wisdom teeth extracted in May '10 in Dr. Mazarow's office. We have NO complaints. He did a wonderful job and we are very happy.

Again, let’s put the comments in context. This is all speculation at this point, written by people hiding behind anonymity and possibly armed with useless facts. But right now, looking at these reactions is a way to capture the community groundswell, especially in the early running when the authorities are mum. Hopefully, official answers will follow soon.

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