Search Site

Whistleblower Reveals Local Pediatric Dental Chain in Washington Reuses Disposable Utensils, Tools

A former employee of Smiles 4 Kids, a Washington-based pediatric dental chain, filed a whistleblower complaint accusing the company of reusing disposable dental tools. As a result, the Washington State Dental Quality Assurance Commission is now investigating the organization.

The whistleblower was Lisa Walker, a former office manager at the Smiles 4 Kids building in Tacoma. She claims Dr. Justin VanBibber, who is the dentist overseeing the Smiles 4 Kids businesses, instructed her to reuse disposable Isolite mouthpieces, telling her to put them in the cold sterile and then re-use them on patients. Walker said she refused to do so, as the instructions on the mouthpiece clearly state that it is a disposable product not meant for reuse, as reusing it could result in the spread of pathogens and infections.

In addition, a dental assistant told Walker she found Isolite mouthpieces soaking in sterilizing solutions. Walker met with the compliance officer for Smiles 4 Kids, who said the problem would get taken care of immediately.

Dr. VanBibber later wrote in an email that the compliance officer “really screwed” him, as not reusing the mouthpieces would see costs go up. He instructed office managers to “make her (a different dentist) happy” by not reusing the mouthpieces when she was around, but to continue doing so otherwise.

A box of 10 mouthpieces costs only $25.

Protect others by revealing wrongdoing

In many cases, whistleblowers who take action can bring an end to illegal practices and save taxpayers money. In cases such as this one, however, they may also call attention to issues that threaten public health and safety.

To learn more about how you can report wrongdoing within your company or organization and protect your rights as a whistleblower, speak with a dedicated attorney at Whistleblower Law for Managers.

Awards & Honors
Our Office
  • Dallas Office
    4514 Cole Ave
    Dallas, Texas 75205
    Phone: 214-306-8045
    Fax: 469-729-9926
As Seen In
In his new book, "Standing Up to China: How a Whistleblower Risked Everything for His Country," former client & Author, Ashley Yablon, quotes Attorney Steve Kardell about Whistelblower Law.
  • "Steve Kardell was terrific in representing me in some very adversarial discussions with Citigroup and also later represented me in my testimony before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission."  -Richard Bowen, Citigroup Whistleblower

  • "Incredible knowledge of employee related concerns and equally brilliant knowledge of health care regulations, standards of practice. I would recommend this firm to anyone."  -V.B.

  • "Reaching out to Steve Kardell was the best decision I made. His ability to provide immediate insight and direction was very powerful, and a huge relief during a very stressful time period. For anyone struggling with a whistleblower situation, I would highly recommend at least speaking with Steve. After a 10 minute call with him, I had a better understanding of what I was dealing with. Even better, he gave me some immediate hope. In the end Steve did a better job than I thought was possible. Steve was able to get in contact with people in my organization, that I didn’t have access to. Because of his years of experience, he already has contacts in many organizations in Dallas. The entire situation was handled peacefully. I was impressed by his ability to “keep the peace”–rather than creating a battle with the organization. The reason I didn’t reach out to a lawyer initially, was because I thought it would mean an immediate end to any hope of a positive relationship with the company. Steve was able to address my concerns, and in the end I was able to continue to work for them."  -KS

  • "Never thought my career would end like it did after 30 years of service. I was part of the first round of the so called reduction of force. I asked myself how can I be part of this with 30 years of seniority. How did they pick these 90 plus employees? Now, the culture of this organization made you question every decision they made. It wasn’t what you knew it’s was a culture of who you know. Nonetheless, I did not accept their severance package. I immediately starting looking for an attorney who would take on my case. After the initial call to Steve I had hope again. He was open and honest about everything and reassured me he would do his best for me, and he did. I had an awesome outcome. Thanks Steve you’re the best."  -S.S.