AUSTIN, Texas – The parents of a toddler who died while at the dentist believe her death was unnecessary and all part of a Medicaid scam.
In 2016, Betty Squier said she brought her 14-month-old daughter, Daisy Lynn Torres, to the dentist to see if she had a cavity.
Squier told KXAN the child’s dentist, Dr. Michael Melanson, told her that she had to undergo a normal procedure to fix six cavities.
Daisy Lynn’s heart and breathing stopped when she was put under anesthesia for the procedure.
Now, her parents believe that her death was all part of a corporate scheme to bill Medicaid for unnecessary work.
A report from a forensic dental examiner questioned why the little girl was having a dental procedure in the first place.
“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.
Now, the family has filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against Austin Children’s Dentistry, Dr. Melanson, the anesthesiologist and the Texas Anesthesiology Association.
“A big component of people that use Medicaid happens to be people who are low-income and sometimes not as formally educated as others, and they make for very good targets because they are trusting,” said Sean Breen, the family’s lawyer.
A spokesperson for the practice say they cannot comment on pending litigation. However, KXAN reports that the practice filed a lawsuit against the forensic dentist, accusing him of libel.
“It’s not fair. There needs to be justice. Her life was cut short due to someone’s greed and negligence,” said Squier.