You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myStatesman.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

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

X

Welcome to myStatesman.com

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 myStatesman.com.

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


Highlights

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 http://ls.tsbde.texas.gov to search the disciplinary records of any dentist, hygienist, assistant and lab in Texas.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Ohio man accused of trying to join ISIS in Syria
Ohio man accused of trying to join ISIS in Syria

An Ohio man is in federal custody, facing charges related to attempting to provide material support to terrorist group ISIS. FBI agents on the Joint Terrorism Task Force on Wednesday arrested Laith Waleed Alebbini, 26, at Cincinnati/Kentucky International Airport. Alebbini was on his way to Syria to join ISIS fighters, the FBI said. Authorities said...
DRIVE-BY SHOOTING: UT police investigate incident near Dean Keeton, San Jacinto streets
DRIVE-BY SHOOTING: UT police investigate incident near Dean Keeton, San Jacinto streets

University of Texas and Austin police are on the hunt for a shooter following reports of a shots fired on campus Thursday morning. Just after 10 a.m., in the vicinity of Dean Keeton and San Jacinto streets, a man in a white sedan fired a gun at an unidentified person that he apparently knew, University police said in an email sent to faculty and staff...
Smugglers caught with $380K worth of cocaine in pants, Customs officials say
Smugglers caught with $380K worth of cocaine in pants, Customs officials say

 Two men face smuggling charges after U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers said they found pounds of cocaine hidden under the men’s pants during an inspection in New York. Officers found the men last week while checking passengers arriving at John F. Kennedy International Airport on a flight from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic...
NEW NOW: Travis Co. Sheriff Sally Hernandez praises Democrats who fought 'sanctuary cities' bill
NEW NOW: Travis Co. Sheriff Sally Hernandez praises Democrats who fought 'sanctuary cities' bill

Hours after the Texas House gave preliminary approval to a ban on so-called sanctuary cities, Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez praised Democratic representatives for their efforts to quash the measure. “They truly listened to leaders in both law enforcement and communities of faith, as well as the people we are sworn to protect and serve...
Michael Flynn being investigated by DOD; was warned in 2014 about taking foreign payments
Michael Flynn being investigated by DOD; was warned in 2014 about taking foreign payments

The inspector general of the Department of Defense has opened an investigation into whether former national security adviser Michael Flynn reported money he received for a speaking appearance in Russia. Rep. Elijah Cummings, (D-Maryland), released three documents Thursday that confirmed the investigation, ABC News is reporting. One of the letters Cummings...
More Stories