Deadly dental case handed to Pasco County prosecutor

8 On Your Side

The Department of Health claims Dr. Veronica Thompson made several mistakes treating Tommy Myers.

PASCO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office confirms it investigated Tommy Myers’ death following a procedure at Grand Dentistry in New Port Richey.

Detectives forwarded the case to the state attorney’s office.

An investigation by the Florida Department of Health found the dentist who worked on Tommy, Veronica Thompson, over sedated him during his 2014 visit, causing him to stop breathing.

Tommy Myers went for a dental cleaning and never returned home.

Tommy, a special needs patient who was sedated during dental treatments, died days later.

“Tommy was a warm and loving person, he was the soul of our family,” Tommy’s mother Maureen Myers recently told the Board of Dentistry.

At that board meeting in Jacksonville, Dr. Thompson’s attorneys revealed there was an open criminal investigation into the matter and they would not allow Dr. Thompson to speak.

“This was a routine dental visit for a cleaning and my son died,” Maureen Myers reminded the board.

The state says the dentist that put Tommy under did not have a required permit.

“Negligence alone does not mean criminality,” cautioned Health Law expert Dr. Jay Wolfson. According to Dr. Wolfson, a prosecutor must establish gross or criminal negligence before charges can be brought.

But a state investigator found at least seven mistakes Dr. Thompson made on Tommy, including too much sedation too soon. The investigator also found Dr. Thompson failed to follow emergency protocol and she performed deep sedation without a state-required permit.

“That raises things beyond just simple negligence and it could rise to gross negligence or criminal negligence,” Dr. Wolfson added.

“Dr. Thompson was grossly negligent in the care of my son,” Maureen Myers told the board. “He woke up on September 24, he was happy, he was smiling, he kissed me goodbye and he never came home. I need justice for Tommy.”

If you know of something that you think should be investigated, call our 8 On Your Side Helpline at 1-800-338-0808.

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