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Texas family is awarded $95m damages after blundering dentist starved girl, 4, of oxygen

Nevaeh Hall, 10, was left paralyzed and unable to speak after visiting the dentist in 2016 to have a tooth pulled.

A Texas family received more than $95 million after their daughter, Nevaeh Hall, 10, was left blind, paralyzed and unable to speak after a visit to the dentist in 2016.

She was a healthy four-year-old when her parents took her to Diamond Dentistry in Houston, Texas to have some teeth covered and pulled due to cavities.

While they waited in the waiting room for hours, their little girl started having seizures, but her dentist, Dr. Bethaniel Jefferson, didn’t raise the alarm and decided to treat her herself rather than call 911.

Little Nevaeh ended up leaving her routine appointment in an ambulance and was hospitalized for severe brain damage.

The 269th State District Court in Houston found Jefferson liable due to his negligence on Thursday. The family’s attorney said the jury found the 4-year-old was improperly restrained and sedated during the visit.

The family also said Jefferson kept Hall away from her parents because she was having seizures.

Nevaeh Hall, 10, was left paralyzed and unable to speak after visiting the dentist in 2016 to have a tooth pulled.

Nevaeh Hall, 10, was left paralyzed and unable to speak after visiting the dentist in 2016 to have a tooth pulled.

Dr. Bethaniel Jefferson was found negligent by a jury in Houston.  Jefferson was accused of sedating and depriving the little girl of oxygen.

Dr. Bethaniel Jefferson was found negligent by a jury in Houston. Jefferson was accused of sedating and depriving the little girl of oxygen.

Hall’s mother said she still has aspirations for her daughter, saying, “I can definitely see her walking and talking again.”

One of the family’s attorneys, Jim Moriarty, told ABC Houston: “The problem is that the dentist has long since paid the pittance he could afford.” Now, we’re sitting here and we’re screwed’

During the trial, Hall’s parents, Courissa Clark and Derrick Hall, testified that he needs 24-hour medical attention.

One of the family’s attorneys, Jim Moriarty, told ABC Houston: “The problem is that the dentist has long since paid the pittance he could afford.” Now, we’re sitting here and we’re screwed.

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Jefferson does not have enough insurance or assets to cover the damage.

He continued: ‘This jury has heard more evidence of corruption in the Medicaid dental system than any other jury in this country. After hearing that evidence, they came back with a verdict that read: ‘Your damages are enormous.’

Moriarty continued: ‘That is more than a moral victory. That is a message to every corrupt dentist in this country that if he abuses our vulnerable children, if he takes advantage of them, if he steals from the taxpayer, we will hold him accountable.”

Hall’s mother was quoted by the station as saying, “It was definitely worth getting justice for Neveah.” She added that she still has aspirations for her daughter, saying, “I can definitely see her walking and talking again.”

Another of the family’s lawyers, Ryan Skiver, said: “The evidence at trial was heartbreaking. A 30-pound girl, little more than a toddler, was physically and chemically asphyxiated by an out-of-control, financially motivated dentist,” reports Click 2 Houston.

While another, Katherine McCredy, said: ‘Nevaeh’s parents, Courissa and Derrick, fought bravely for justice. From the beginning of this nightmare until now, regulators, law enforcement and elected officials have been urged to help clean up the dental industry.’

Speaking to Click 2 Houston, Moriarty referred to Bethaniel Johnson as a “rotten denist.”

A criminal trial for Jefferson will begin in October. In 2016, the Texas State Board of Dentistry suspended Dr. Jefferson’s medical license and it appears the practice was closed.

In 2016, Clark warned other parents against a restraint device the dentist used to keep her daughter from fidgeting during the procedure at a news conference.

The device, called a papoose, covers young children like a cocoon so they can’t move during a dental procedure.

An attorney for the family revealed that Dr. Jefferson administered five sedatives to the 30-pound boy during the seven-hour procedure. Four hours of that procedure passed in the papoose.

About two hours after the procedure, Clark says she heard her daughter crying, so she went into the room to check on her. She wasn’t in the papoose at the time, but he could see her fidgeting in her dental chair.

‘When I got back there and saw her, my first question was, ‘Okay, do we have to call the ambulance or are they all going to call the ambulance?’

“And they said, ‘We’re just going to try to calm her down. We’re going to monitor her. We’re going to watch her. You have nothing to worry about, but we need all of you.” wait in the waiting room and let her rest so she can walk out of here,” Clark recalled.

“All the time they assured us that everything was fine. The next time we were allowed in was when the paramedics came back.

At the same press conference, Moriarity showed a chart showing little Nevaeh’s vital signs during the procedure. At one point, the girl’s oxygen levels dropped to 49 percent and her heart rate sped up to 196 beats per minute.

Hall’s father, Derrick, said in 2016: “It’s heartbreaking. It really is like… I never in a million years would have thought something like this would happen.”

“Essentially what happened is this child was chemically and physically asphyxiated,” Jim Moriarty said. “This child suffered massive brain damage during that time period and that didn’t have to happen.”

At the conference, Nevaeh’s father, Derrick Hall, broke down in tears when he spoke about his brain-damaged daughter.

‘It’s heartbreaking. It’s really like… I never in a million years would have thought something like this would happen,” Hall told KTRK.

In 2017, a Harris County grand jury indicted Jefferson on Monday on charges of intentionally and knowingly causing serious bodily injury to a child by failure to seek and provide appropriate medical care.

The first degree felony carries a prison sentence of between five and 99 years.

Prior to the 2016 incident, the Texas Dental Board had reprimanded Jefferson in 2012 and 2005. In November 2016, the Texas Dental Board revoked Jefferson’s license.

“This indictment should send a message to the medical community that they will be held accountable for abandoning their patients in times of crisis,” said the Deputy Attorney General.

“While accidents in the healthcare industry happen more than anyone would prefer, professionals need to react appropriately and contact higher-tier healthcare providers when they realize their patient is distressed beyond belief. their capabilities.

“Intentionally allowing a patient to wither for hours after experiencing a seizure and severely low oxygen levels is a criminal breach of duty owed to the patient.”

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