Family plans to sue dentist over young girl's brain damage

By Jace Larson - Investigative Reporter

HOUSTON - The family of a little girl who suffered brain damage after being sedated at the dentist plans to sue the dentist who put her under.

The 4-year-old girl went in to have a tooth pulled and now has to be fed by a feeding tube, and she's confined to a wheelchair.

Nevaeh Hall used to be a typical youngster, helping her mom and playing. But her family's attorney said after visiting the dentist to have a tooth pulled she now lives a much different life.

"That baby is profoundly brain-damaged and will be for life," attorney Jim Moriarty said.

Channel 2 Investigates discovered the dentist involved, Dr. Bethaniel Jefferson, of Spring, had her license pulled temporarily after the January incident.

Discipline paperwork shows she didn't call for help right away when Nevaeh started having seizures.

"For another four hours, this baby is suffering injury and parents aren't allowed to be back until they call 911," Moriarty said.

It's not Jefferson's first problem. In 2012, she was reprimanded by the state dental board after she didn't properly sedate a young patient. In 2005, she was reprimanded after she didn't keep proper track of a patient's blood pressure and pulse.

"This doctor is a danger to the lives and safety of people who might seek to take their children" to be treated by her, Moriarty said.

We tried to reach out to Jefferson, but haven't been able to get in touch with her.

She's just been temporarily suspended from practicing for now. A final disciplinary hearing is scheduled for the end of this month.

The family will be holding a news conference Thursday morning to warn Houston families about the dangers of what can happen in the dental chair. We'll cover that for you on KPRC 2 News and Click2Houston.com.

2016 Click2Houston/KPRC2