A Texas dentist was indicted Monday over a 2016 incident that left a 4-year-old pediatric patient with permanent brain damage. Dr. Bethanial Jefferson is accused of intentionally and knowingly by omission causing serious bodily injury to a child by failing to seek and provide adequate medical attention.
Courissa Clark brought her daughter, Nevaeh Hall, to Jefferson’s office at Diamond Dental in Houston, in January 2016 to have a tooth pulled. Clark said that Nevaeh was given too many sedatives and other drugs that caused a seizure and her oxygen levels to drop, Click 2 Houston reported.
Jefferson allegedly placed Hall in a recovery room for hours before calling 911. The incident left Hall with severe brain damage that robbed her of her ability to walk, talk or see.
“To have a normal kid one day and then that’s taken away all of a sudden, it’s hard,” Clark told Click 2 Houston. “Her life was definitely taken away from her.”
Jefferson was suspended from practice by the Texas Board of Dental Examiners and on Tuesday, a judge issued a warrant for her arrest. The family’s attorney said an indictment should send a strong message to physicians across the country.
“It’s going to tell them, ‘You are going to be held accountable if you kill or maim our children,’” Jim Moriarty, who represented the family in a civil lawsuit, told Click 2 Houston.