Six of 11 Claims Dismissed in SmileDirectClub Lawsuit

Dentistry Today


On April 17, the federal court in the Northern District of Alabama dismissed six of SmileDirectClub’s 11 counts against the Board of Dental Examiners of Alabama.

The suit began when SmileDirectClub opened a practice in Alabama in August 2018. According to the American Association of Orthodontists, personnel at the practice took digital intraoral scans of patients that D. Blaine Leeds, DDS, would review from his location in Tennessee.

The Board of Dental Examiners then sent SmileDirectClub a cease and desist order, alleging that the practice was providing care by unlicensed individuals who weren’t under the direct (or on premises) supervision of a licensed dentist.

In late 2018, SmileDirectClub and Leeds filed a lawsuit against the board, claiming that it committed antitrust actions by attempting to take actions against them. The lawsuit also claimed the board’s actions violated their due process and equal protection rights, violated the Commerce Clause of the US Constitution, and exceeded the scope of the board’s authority.  

The court dismissed some of SmileDirectClub’s claims due to their lack of subject matter jurisdiction and failures to state a claim. However, the court found that SmileDirectClub’s dormant Commerce Clause and Sherman Act claims may proceed.  

The matter is currently set for trial in August 2019.

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