Dentistry lawsuit following toddler death

May 31, 2017

The family of Daisy Lynn Torres took legal action against Austin Children’s Dentistry, Dr. Michael Melanson, the on-site anesthesiologist and the Texas Anesthesiology Association for the wrongful death of their 14-month-old daughter who died following a dental procedure. The lawsuit asserts that Daisy Lynn’s death was tied to a corporate scam to submit bills to Medicaid for unnecessary dental work.

Daisy Lynn arrived at the office on March 29, 2016, to have two cavities filled. During the procedure, the treating dentist, Dr. Melanson, came out to inform Daisy Lynn’s mother, Betty Squier, that she now had six cavities that needed filling. Because of the complications, sedation seemed like the right choice and although nervous about it, Squier agreed.

The Travis County Medical Examiner’s Office released an autopsy report stating that Daisy Lynn’s death was categorized as “undetermined” but caused by anesthesia complications. Throughout the toddler’s procedure, the certified anesthesiologist was on-site.

A forensic dental report, written by odontologist Robert Williams, states that no signs of dental disease or pathology were visible in Daisy Lynn’s x-rays dated March 29 prior to the procedure. The x-rays taken after the child’s death show that four teeth demonstrate the appearance of preparation for stainless steel crowns. No evidence exists that this treatment was required or necessary for Daisy Lynn. Written records from a prior visit in July 2015 show no decay. The forensic report brings the child’s dentist under suspicion.

A statement from Austin Children’s Dentistry said they felt saddened by the tragedy. The information they received in the forensic reports led them to suspend Dr. Melanson until the investigation is complete. Since Daisy Lynn’s death, the dental practice has stopped general anesthesia sedation. They readily agreed to cooperate with the investigation.

Attorney Jason Ray will defend Dr. Melanson who has a spotless record with the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners. Ray’s main argument points to the fact that Daisy Lynn’s death was caused by anesthesia and not a dental procedure. However, this statement was taken before further information in the wrongful death with new evidence had come forth.

If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of someone in the medical profession, please contact our lawyers for assistance.

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