Lawyer: Dentist fighting for her license under criminal investigation following patient’s death

8 On Your Side

The state says Dr. Veronica Thompson administered too much sedation too quickly.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (WFLA) – It was not a good day in Jacksonville for Pasco County dentist Dr. Veronica Thompson.

8 On Your Side has learned Dr. Thompson, according to her lawyers, is now under criminal investigation for her role in the death of her patient Tommy Myers.

Tommy Myers went to the dentist for a routine cleaning and never came home.

The Florida Board of Dentistry rejected a deal that Dr. Thompson’s lawyers had worked out with the Department of Health in the Myers case.

Dr. Thompson did not utter a word in her defense at the Board of Dentistry meeting.

Dr. Thompson listens to board members grill her attorneys and expert.

A Department of Health investigation accuses her of administering too much sedation to 39-year-old Tommy Myers, a special needs patient, back in September 2014.

Tommy’s parents opposed the settlement agreement the DOH worked out with Dr. Thompson and was before the board.

“I need justice for Tommy and I don’t think a one-year suspension and paying fines and going back to school is going to do it,” Tommy’s mother Maureen Myers told board members.

The state contends Dr. Thompson also failed to follow emergency protocol when Tommy stopped breathing.

“On Sept. 24 he was happy, he was smiling, he kissed me goodbye and he never came home,” Maureen said as her voice trembled.

Dr. Thompson’s lawyers revealed the Pasco County State Attorney opened a criminal investigation into this case. And that Dr. Thompson refused to provide the Department of Health a deposition, invoking her Fifth Amendment privilege.

According to his parents, Tommy had the mental capacity of a 2 or 3-year-old. He was sedated during dental visits.

His mother called Tommy the “soul of our family.”

“I have a question about why this was done in the office?” board member Dr. Nicholas White asked. Dr. White stated a patient with Tommy’s medical history should have been referred to an operating room.

Dr. White also had questions about how closely Dr. Thompson monitored Tommy.

“If the patient is blue, you’re well beyond checking the monitor,” Dr. White advised.

Board members repeatedly raised concerns about the amount of sedation Dr. Thompson administered.

“In my opinion, it was too much too soon,” board member Dr. T.J. Tejera told Dr. Thompson’s lawyers.

The board unanimously rejected the proposed settlement agreement which would have suspended Dr. Thompson’s license until she paid a fine, and completed and passed courses in managing emergency situations.

A spokesman for the Department of Health stated after two settlement agreements were rejected by the Board of Dentistry, it looks like the state will go full-bore on license revocation.

If you know of something that you think should be investigated call our 8 On Your Side Helpline at 1-800-338-0808, or contact Steve Andrews at sandrews@wfla.com

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