Almost a year ago, on March 29th, 2016, the parents of 14-month-old Daisy Lynn Torres took their daughter to the dentist to have two cavities filled. Unfortunately, the little girl lost consciousness during the procedure and never woke up. Now, the family is filing a wrongful death lawsuit against North Austin Medical Center’s dentist who performed the procedure.
Two months after Daisy’s passing, in July 2016, the Travis County Medical Examiner issued a statement saying the little girl succumbed to health complications of anesthesia. According to the grieving family, the practitioner engaged in unnecessary medical procedures as a “corporate scheme to bilk Medicaid of taxpayer dollars”. Apparently, the dentist told Daisy’s parents he needed to do root canals and put crowns of four teeth. However, the lawsuit claims that the little girl’s dental radiographs taken shortly before she was put under showcased no evident signs of disease.
On March 1st, the family moved forward with the lawsuit and demands $1 million in damages from the Texas Anesthesiology Association, the dentist responsible for their baby’s death, Michael Melanson, and the anesthesiologist.
According to the lawsuit, Daisy may not be the only toddler who underwent unnecessary procedures at the Austin Children’s Dentistry clinic. Furthermore, the plaintiffs claim it was all done just to “line the pockets of Austin Children’s Dentistry and its affiliates at taxpayer expense.
Elizandro Torres, Daisy’s father, says the family chose to follow this course of action exactly because countless similar procedures are performed every day and parents have a right to know what is going on in the slightest detail. He told reporters he wishes no parents to go through what he and his wife went.
Sean Breen, the attorney representing the family explained the wrongful death lawsuit meets two purposes. First and foremost, to give Daisy Lynn a voice, and secondly, to raise awareness about what the family considers a flaw in the medical care system. More specifically, Medicaid fraud, which implies dentists and dental clinics pushing for additional procedures, even though unnecessary, just to collect money from it. Sean Breen said that even though not everyone dies as a result, Daisy Lynn did, and it is enough to raise some red flags.
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