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Crooked Teeth, Crooked Dentist

Think these braces are expensive?

A group of local residents gathered at the Cold Spring Harbor Library this Wednesday with the Siegel & Siegel Law firm to exchange horror stories, console each other and join together to discuss a class action lawsuit against Dr. Stuart Balaban and Dr. Jacqueline Fulop-Goodling.  According to his ex-patients, Balaban is not only an orthodontist; he’s a highly skilled con artist who can sweet talk intelligent people out of their money and a magician who can make it disappear.  Balaban allegedly would offer his patients a great deal on services if they would pay the total amount up front.  At the same time he would file insurance claims to pad his fees.   On December 21st, 2009 Balaban filed for bankruptcy.  His clients say that he continued to take money from them including upfront payments for services to be performed at a later date without informing them about his 40-year old business’ financial trouble.  Eventually Balaban told his patients that he was forming a partnership with Dr. Jackie Fulop-Goodlings and moving his office from Melville and into her Woodbury office.

The group that gathered at the library was eager to share complaints although they asked that we publish their first names only.

Ellen, a mother of three, says she thinks Balaban has changed since she first met him 20 years ago, “It’s like someone else took over his body”.  She says Balaban began working on her 15-yer old daughter’s teeth five years ago.  She trusted Balaban that braces were appropriate for a 10-year old who still had baby teeth and even took his recommendation to outfit the girl with expensive “invisalign” clear braces.  Ellen says she thinks Balaban ”would sell you back your underwear if he could”.  The family paid $3.500 up front for regular metal braces followed by another $3,900 for the invisalign upgrade and post-treatment fees.   Balaban then closed up shop, taking their money and leaving the daughter with broken invisalign braces still on her teeth.  The family consulted with a Huntington orthodontist this week who told us the job was “the worst that she’d ever seen”.  The Huntington orthodontist says invisalign style braces should never have been used on someone so young and caused her molars to grow in behind the braces leading to an overbite.  This orthodontist said the child probably didn’t even need braces to start with and notes that it has to be emotionally difficult for someone this young to put up with five years of orthodontia and more to come.

John is the father of two children who were patients of Balaban.  He thought that he and the doctor were friends.  John claims after his son had braces put on by the doctor he was offered a  “great deal” if his 12 year-old daughter would sign up immediately and pay upfront for braces.  John says Balaban explained that he was selling his business to Dr. Fulop-Goodling by the end of the next day and she would finish any work that he had contracted.  “Today I control the price, tomorrow it’s Dr. Jackie.” is what John remembers him saying.  John paid up and in return he received a signed letter stating that Fulop-Goodling would wrap up any unfinished work.  Balaban installed braces on his daughter’s teeth and shortly thereafter they received a letter saying that Balaban had declared bankruptcy.  John took his children back to the Woodbury office expecting Fulop-Golding to pick up where Balaban left off.  Instead Fulop-Golding explained ”Whatever happened with you and Dr. Balaban is between the two of you.“ She said they were never partners, and she only let him practice in her office because he said that he was going to commit suicide if she didn’t let him use her facilities.

Apparently Balaban left manufacturers and dental suppliers with unmet obligations that may exceed the financial distress he has caused his former patients.  Jon, a dental supplier, says he was defrauded of “a lot of money”.  He said that he had supplied the doctor with expensive dental supplies for over ten years and when Balaban’s business went belly up, Jon was given a worthless IOU and a promise to pay him back at a future date.

Siegel & Siegel says Dr. Balaban had about 650 patients all in varying stages of dental work so it is difficult to tell exactly how much patient money was lost, but estimate the financial damage may run to $5,000,000 for patients, with suppliers and manufacturers out just as much if not more.  There are a number of insurance companies involved who may have been defrauded as well.   It’s bad enough seeing adults taking a financial hit but unfortunately there are a lot of children who have suffered the worst with incomplete work and/or poor workmanship and who will have to put up with many more years of orthodontia than was necessary.  Siegel & Siegel are planning to sue Dr. Fulop-Golding on the grounds that “she apparently represented that she bought the practice and then reneged on it”, and Dr. Balaban for the losses and the additional fees people paid to get treated elsewhere.

In a statement released to CBS news from Dr. Balaban’s attorney, Steven Gaitman, said:
“Dr. Balaban has been a practicing orthodontist for over 40 years. He is highly regarded in his field of dentistry and has accumulated a patient list that exceeds 650 patients. Dr. Balaban adamantly refutes the allegations that have recently been put forth. Additionally, Dr. Fulop-Goodling has promulgated the baseless claims to protect her own interests. Dr. Balaban’s repeated efforts to rectify any complaints have been thwarted by Dr. Fulop-Goodling’s refusal to return Dr. Balaban’s own patient list.”

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10 comments to Crooked Teeth, Crooked Dentist

  • Huntington neighbor

    Unbelievable-glad I wasn’t a victim and sorry for those who were .The sad part is I’m not overly
    surprised at anything I hear due to the recent corruption in our financial institutes and with our politicians.Who to trust?

  • Anonymous

    dr. balaban almost ruined both my daughters teeth and my oldest daughter was left with a horrendous overbite and my youngest daughter almost lost all her front teeth due to balaban’s negligence may he be forced to go to jail for what he has done.

  • lopez

    dr. balaban almost ruined both my daughters teeth and my oldest daughter was left with a horrendous overbite and my youngest daughter almost lost all her front teeth due to balaban’s negligence may he be forced to go to jail for what he has done.

  • What to do?

    You can contact Michael or Sharon Siegel at It is not to late to join in getting your money back.

  • Oneofmany

    This here is for you Drs who I know dont care but I need to speak my mind and let the world know how corrupt you are Dr. Balaban & Dr. Jackie, hopefully soon both your licesenes will be revoked ! My CHILD has their braces on for yrs and always there was a reason ….that reason being Balaban was not doing what he shouls of been doing . Maybe every other visit or so work was done , the others I guess they pretended back there!!!!
    WOW SUSIE ,CATHY & ALL THE REST ….dont you feel bad ?? Are you all just so inhuman …like a machine with no feelings , no hearts ? Michelle , there are not even words to describe what you did to all of us . The saddest thing is the kids really learned a lesson from all of you indecent people . My child can not believe that people like you all could do what you have done . Sitting in another orthodontist office who cut some wires that were cutting my childs cheek and being told that we need xrays again (A FEW HUNDRED $$)
    MY child said how could Jackie do this TO ME ,she has them WHY WHY WONT she give them to us ??
    Well cause thats the kind of person I guess she is .
    Balaban and Jackie left my childs mouth in such a way that her teeth would be moving in a damaging way …..they knew that with no treatment in a few weeks that would start to happen !
    Jackie did not care , she wouldnt give a consultation .
    The fact that these 2 drs allowed all this to go on and cause children such distress is beyond reality , although it is .
    My child would like to say Dr Jackie & STAFF :
    I cant believe you left my mouth like this , I trusted you guys

  • rei

    I am so glad to read this article.
    She has to be stopped. I treated in her NY office and have proof that she lied to me about my treatment for 3 yrs, she did not take the advice of Invisalign’s technician when he said that my teeth were going to suffer a malocclusion, she did not address his concerns at all, she fraudulently submitted doctored medical records and then lied to the Court so that my case could not be heard on Statute of Limitations grounds. She will not stop at anything in order to continue getting fat off of the misery of others. What a cruel and inhuman specimen.

  • Thank you

    I contacted Siegel and want to thank whoever posted this information. ty!

  • risa

    Creepy, Marathon Man for the 21st century…a visit to the dentist is usually if not always an anxiety laden experience…this is a life changer for those who’ve encountered this quack..unbelievable…

  • Anonymous

    Thank you for posting Siegel & Siegel’s info. I imagined there must be a suit out there but couldn’t find info until I saw this. Very kind of you.

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