You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks


Welcome to

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on

Family of tot who died after dental visit files wrongful death suit


Daisy Lynn Torres died March 29, 2016, after being put under at a Northwest Austin dental office.

The family of the 14-month-old girl is seeking $1 million in damages.

The parents of a 14-month-old girl who died during a dental procedure last year have filed a wrongful death lawsuit, claiming the procedure was unnecessary and an attempt to “line the pockets” of Austin Children’s Dentistry with Medicaid funds.

Daisy Lynn Torres died at the North Austin Medical Center on March 29, about two hours after emergency personnel were called out to the dental office at 12501 Hymeadow Drive in Northwest Austin.

RELATED: 14-month-old girl dies after dental procedure in Northwest Austin

According to the lawsuit filed Tuesday in a Travis County state District Court, Torres was taken to the dentist to have two cavities filled by Michael Melanson. She arrived at the office with her mother, Betty Squire, who was told that Torres needed to be given anesthesia before Melanson could begin, the document said.

Squire asked to be with her daughter during the procedure, but she was told that she had to remain in the waiting room, the lawsuit said.

READ MORE: Autopsy: Girl who died after dental work had normal anesthesia dose

“After (Torres) was under, Melanson came out and indicated to her mother that for Daisy’s well-being, he needed to perform multiple pulpotomies, or baby root canals, and then place crowns on four of her eight total teeth — baby teeth,” the suit said.

According to the document, Melanson told Squire the procedure was normal and necessary, then went back into the room.

At some point during the procedure, Torres’ heart and breathing stopped, the suit said.

The suit alleges that Torres’ procedure was only done because it was covered by Medicaid, and that no sign of disease was evident in dental radiographs taken on the day Torres died.

The dentist’s office has said the procedure was necessary, and last year sued Robert G. Williams, the forensic dentist who came to the opposite conclusion, for defamation after he filed his report on the case.

RAW DOCUMENT: Read William’s report on the Torres case

The Travis County medical examiner’s office had requested a separate dental forensic review from Williams. The review questioned why Torres was being treated in the first place.

“One can only speculate as to why any treatment was performed considering no indication of dental disease or pathology,” Williams wrote, adding that records from a previous visit didn’t show any decay either.

The suit said Williams initially agreed with Austin Children’s Dentistry’s objections to the report and “agreed to work with (the office) to assist in clarifying the misleading perceptions” in the document, but later changed his mind.

The new suit filed by Torres’ parents says the office pressured Williams to change his opinion.

RELATED: Dentist’s office involved in baby’s death files defamation suit

“Dr. Williams has stated he considered bowing to the threats of the defendants in order to save himself the agony of litigation, but ultimately decided to stick with his principles and confirmed his original opinion to the Travis County medical examiner,” the document said.

The family is seeking $1 million in damages.

Austin Children’s Dentistry spokeswoman Sarah Marshall said Wednesday it is the office’s policy not to comment on pending litigation.

Visit to search the disciplinary records of any dentist, hygienist, assistant and lab in Texas.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Local

Troopers: Single-car crash kills two women in Burnet County
Troopers: Single-car crash kills two women in Burnet County

Two women in their early 30s died Saturday afternoon in a single-car crash on U.S. 281 near Park Road 4 in Burnet County, officials said. The crash happened around 2 p.m., said state Trooper Shannon Simpson. “Two females going south on U.S. 281 at a very high rate of speed passed a vehicle and lost control,” he said. The 2012 Hyundai carrying...
Authorities: Small plane damaged during landing at Burnet airport
Authorities: Small plane damaged during landing at Burnet airport

A small plane carrying only its pilot was damaged while landing at around 7:21 a.m. Saturday at Burnet Municipal Airport, officials said. Department of Public Safety officer Andrew Thomas said the pilot, Mark Rankin, was uninjured and that the airport runway was not damaged. “It was a pretty simple crash,” Thomas said. “The plane...
Pedicab cyclist: Lyft driver pulled a gun after Rainey Street dustup
Pedicab cyclist: Lyft driver pulled a gun after Rainey Street dustup

A Lyft driver pulled a gun on a pedicab driver and threatened to kill her early Saturday morning after an argument in which she kicked his car near the Rainey Street entertainment district, the pedicabber told police. Austin Police arrested Robert Henderson Rush, 58, on suspicion of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon — though the weapon...
Monarch butterflies tagged on Gulf Coast for migration research
Monarch butterflies tagged on Gulf Coast for migration research

A burst of color welcomes visitors to Quintana Beach County Park, orange-and-black butterflies dotting the vibrant hues of red, pink and purple that make up the pollinator garden. The microscopic monarch butterfly eggs aren’t easy to spot among the flowers, but Patty Brinkmeyer has an eye for this sort of thing. “Once you’ve looked...
Authorities: North Texas mother left 2 kids in hot car as punishment
Authorities: North Texas mother left 2 kids in hot car as punishment

A North Texas woman told investigators that she left her 2-year-old daughter and 16-month-old son in a hot car where they died last month to teach the girl a lesson and that they didn’t lock themselves in, as she initially reported, according to sheriff’s officials. Cynthia Marie Randolph, 24, was being held Saturday on two counts of causing...
More Stories