Embattled dentist gives up license, victims say they want more

Dentist faces at least 10 lawsuits for malpractice, neglect

By Scott Johnson - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A Jacksonville pediatric dentist accused of abusing and mistreating patients has voluntarily given up his license, according to the Florida Department of Health.

The State Board of Dentistry will be discussing Dr. Howard S. Schneider's case next Friday, when they should decide whether they approve the relinquishment of his license.

Brandi Motley, the mother who started the campaign against Schneider, said it was her goal to shut down the doctor's ability to practice but thinks his punishment shouldn't end with his ability to practice.

After getting the news that Schneider had voluntarily given up his license Motley went on to say that she's not done with the embattled dentist.

"I think it's a good idea and I think it's an easy way out. He's looking for an easy way out. I mean, that's what I wanted was his license to be taken, but him voluntarily doing it, I feel he's looking for an easy way out," Motley said. 

Schneider is facing at least 10 separate lawsuits for medical malpractice and neglect. News4Jax first reported the allegations against Schneider weeks ago. 

Motley filed one of the lawsuits against Schneider on behalf of her 6-year-old daughter and said that though Schneider may be looking for an easy way out, her daughter, Bri-El, has no easy way out.

"She's kind of emotional now that it's being brought up and she's been questioned so much about it. She's kind of withdrawn herself. She's told former stations that she was scared to talk about it because he would see it," Motley said. 

Schneider's University Boulevard clinic was a site of protests for weeks. 

News4Jax found new police reports and new lawsuits against the dentist this week. The accusations are very similar. The plaintiffs all say Schneider intentionally hurt them and caused permanent damage.

According to records, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office has responded to Schneider's practice 164 times over the past 20 years. Since the allegations went public last month, cops were called 29 times.

The State Attorney's Office investigated Schneider in 2013, after a girl said he slapped her during a procedure, but prosecutors didn't press charges because, according to records, Schneider and the staff "denied anything inappropriate happened" and there was an "improbability of conviction at trial."

Police didn't just respond to abuse complaints. There were disputes, a report of vandalism and even a death threat.

According to one document, an anonymous social media user threatened to shoot the dentist if he didn't stop practicing and the person "posted a diagram on how to build a Molotov Cocktail" on a Facebook page about the allegations.

Twice, protesters accused Schneider of trying to run them over with his car.

The dentist's problems are stacking up in court. Last Friday, his wife filed for divorce, claiming he blocked her from "financial accounts and dissipated the funds."

Court records also show there are now 10 lawsuits against him for medical malpractice and negligence.

News4Jax stopped by Schneider's home in Avondale twice Friday and he has continued to declined to be interviewed.

Schneider will have to fight many of these allegations in court after News4Jax uncovered 10 separate malpractice lawsuits against him.

Attorney John Phillips represents the families of 50 children right now, and he said the calls keep coming.

"I think there might be a couple hundred that have clams by the time all is said and done," Phillips said. "One child against a 45-year dentist is one thing, but when you have this many, it speaks for itself."

The Florida Attorney General's Office, the State Attorney's Office and the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office are investigating Schneider. So far, no criminal charges have been filed.

Motley said that when her daughter had nine teeth pulled by Schneider and she reported it to police they told her it was a civil matter, an answer which she adamantly disagrees with.

"If I would've done that to my daughter, I would've gone to jail and my kids would've been taken. But for him to continue to practice and keep doing it," Motley said. 

Schneider said last week that he was shutting down for good, and the Florida Department of Health said Friday that he has voluntarily relinquished his license. 

The State Board of Dentistry will be discussing Schneider's case at their board meeting next Friday.

News4Jax looked into Schneider's license back when the allegations first surfaced and it came up clear.

Schneider has maintained his innocence. 

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