Lawsuit: TX Toddler's death during dental procedure was part of Medicad scheme

AUSTIN, Texas (KXAN) — The family of the 14-month-old girl who died after a visit to the dentist has filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against Austin Children’s Dentistry.

Her parents are suing the practice, the dentist, the anesthesiologist and the company he works for, Texas Anesthesiology Association. The cause of death of Daisy Lynn Torres, who died on March 29, 2016, was determined to be the result of anesthesia administered for the treatment of tooth decay, according to the Medical Examiner’s Office.

Betty Squier, the girl’s mother, said the child’s dentist, Dr. Michael Melanson, told her that there were more problems with her daughter’s teeth than expected; she had six cavities, four more than they thought she had. On the day of Daisy Lynn’s appointment, Dr. David Williams was there as the mobile anesthesiologist with Texan Anesthesiology. According to the lawsuit, Dr. Williams “did not describe or explain the procedure that would be performed.”

A report from a forensic dental examiner questioned why Torres was having a dental procedure before she died, prompting the dental practice to suspect the child’s dentist. “One can only speculate as to why any treatment was performed considering no indication of dental disease or pathology was seen in the dental radiographs (x-rays) in the dental visit dated 03/29/2016,” wrote Robert Williams, a forensic odontologist.

The lawsuit claims the girl’s death was part of a corporate scheme to bill Medicaid for unnecessary dental procedures. Her parents are now suing for $1 million.  Their attorney told us Tuesday night they hope this lawsuit will protect other children from the dangers of pediatric predators and their money-making schemes.

In July of 2016, Austin Children’s Dentistry said they suspended Dr. Melanson indefinitely until the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners finished its investigation. There was an anesthesiologist on-site during Daisy Lynn’s appointment. Back in September when the official autopsy report was filed, Austin Children’s Dentistry filed a lawsuit accusing the forensic dentist of libel, defamation and business disparagement.

We reached out to the spokesperson for Austin Children’s Dentistry. She told us they haven’t been officially notified of the lawsuit, and they hope to provide a statement Wednesday.


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