Dentist sued for dropping tools down patient's throat

A Florida dentist who dropped a screwdriver and a wrench down the throat of an elderly patient who later died is being sued for negligence, according to a news story in the Orlando Sentinel.

Relatives of Charles Gaal Jr. filed the lawsuit in Orange County Circuit Court against Wesley Meyers, D.M.D., of Aloma Park Dental, according to the story.

The patient first went to Dr. Meyers in September 2006 complaining that he was having some trouble with a set of lower dentures, according to a complaint filed with the Florida Department of Health. Treatment began in October 2006. During a visit, Dr. Meyers dropped an implant screwdriver into the patient's throat. Gaal swallowed the object, which later had to be retrieved from his large intestine via a colonoscopy.

During a subsequent visit in May 2007, Dr. Meyers dropped a miniwrench into the patient's throat. The patient never fully recovered and later died on June 19.

Dr. Meyers' license was briefly suspended in January 2008, and the state fined him $17,000.

In their lawsuit, the family accuses Dr. Meyers of failing to take precautions to guard against dropping and losing his dental tools down the patient's throat and failing to handle his tools properly, according to the Sentinel.

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