Knoxville dentist Clarence “Buzz” Nabers has sold his Gay Street building and closed the branch of his practice located there.
Josh Smith, founder and former owner of Master Service Companies, purchased the four-story building in late September for $2.8 million under the LLC Master OZ 300 Gay St.
Around that time, a Knox County Circuit Court judge denied Nabers’ motion to dismiss a proposed $50 million class-action lawsuit, allowing the case against him to move forward to what seems likely be a costly and time-consuming discovery process.
The lawsuit alleges Nabers endangered thousands of his patients by improperly sterilizing dental equipment, potentially exposing them to HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C.
Nabers still operates out of his 2061 Thunderhead Road office in West Knoxville.
A different dentist, Ethan Long, has leased the dental office space in the Gay Street building, Smith told Knox News.
Buzz Nabers controversy
Nabers was fined $11,000 in August 2019 and his license placed on probation after the Tennessee Board of Dentistry found he improperly sterilized dental equipment and forged certification documents.
More: Knoxville dentist Buzz Nabers improperly sterilized tools, forged certificates, state says
The investigation found Nabers had dental assistants perform procedures outside their scope of practice, including filling cavities and placing permanent crowns.
The state mandated that Nabers inform patients of the risks associated with some of those improper sterilization techniques. Months later, some patients received unsigned letters from Nabers’ practice stating they could obtain HIV and hepatitis tests if they “would like to be tested.”
More: Buzz Nabers dental patients urged to get tested for HIV, hepatitis B and C
Three patients filed a $50 million proposed class-action lawsuit against Nabers.
Though a judge denied the defense’s motion to dismiss the case, the class has not yet been certified. It’s a procedural step in which the judge will decide whether the case can move forward and, if so, how to break up and define the groups of individuals involved.
Smith investing profits of company sale
Smith sold his company, one of the region’s largest residential waterproofing and foundation services providers, for an undisclosed sum in November 2019 and invested $8 million into 4th Purpose Foundation, a prison reform nonprofit he created.
Smith was released from a federal prison camp about 16 years ago and
SEATTLE (Nov. 10, 2020) – Planet Fitness – one of the nation’s largest and fastest-growing franchisors and operators of fitness centers with more members than any other fitness brand – has opened in Downtown Seattle at 601 Pine St., Seattle WA 98101.
As Planet Fitness’ 24th club in the Seattle area, the 16,364-square-foot Downtown Seattle club offers state-of-the-art cardio machines and strength equipment, 30-Minute Express Circuit, fully equipped locker rooms with day lockers and showers, numerous flat screen televisions, HydroMassage beds, massage chairs, tanning beds, a Total Body Enhancement booth and more in a hassle-free, non-intimidating environment.
Now through Nov. 18, members can join for $1 down with no commitment for Classic membership – which includes unlimited access and free fitness training at Planet Fitness Downtown Seattle – or PF Black Card® membership – which includes the ability to bring a guest every day at no additional charge, access to all 2,000+ Planet Fitness locations in all 50 states, plus access to massage beds and chairs and tanning, among other benefits which vary by location and local restrictions. Registration is available in person or online at www.planetfitness.com/gyms/sea….
As with all Planet Fitness clubs, the Downtown Seattle club operates with enhanced protocols for working out in the safest way possible including: required facemasks, increased sanitation, employee temperature checks, touchless check-in featuring COVID-19 wellness questions for all members and guests, signage promoting Social Fitnessing™ throughout the facility, and Crowd Meter on Planet Fitness’ mobile app that allows members to check club capacity before coming into the gym.
“Planet Fitness believes fitness is essential to the physical and mental health of Seattle residents who are eager to get out of the house and resume their active lifestyles. Fitness also plays a critical role in building a stronger immune system, helping protect against severe COVID-19,” said Victor Brick, co-owner of PF Growth Partners, a franchise division of Planet Fitness. “Planet Fitness Downtown Seattle aims to do its part in combatting this ongoing pandemic by providing access for people to exercise and stay healthy.”
The pandemic has taken a physical and mental toll on the nation. State lockdowns led to a 32 percent reduction in physical activity among individuals who were physically active. Washington State already suffers from high obesity rates, with 28.3 percent being considered overweight. This makes access to exercise now even more vital as physical activity provides numerous health benefits including the ability to maintain weight, strengthen muscles, and prevent chronic illness.
Regular physical activity is also known to reduce the symptoms of depression and anxiety. This takes on even more significance in light of a July poll conducted by the Kaiser Foundation which found that more than half of U.S. adults reported that their mental health has been negatively impacted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, up 32 percent from March.
Planet Fitness Downtown Seattle is currently open and staffed Monday through Friday, from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.