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Houston Girl Who ‘Can No Longer See, Speak or Eat on Her Own’ Wins $95.5M After Dental Visit Leaves Her Brain Dead. Here’s Why She Will Never See the Money.

A former Houston dentist has been ordered by a jury to pay the family of one of his young patients almost $100 million after she lost a malpractice claim in court. However, the parents are still left with figuring out how to take care of the child who suffered irreversible brain damage after being sedated in her practice years ago.

Neveah Hall was only 4 years old when she was taken to Dr. Bethaniel Jefferson’s Diamond Dental Practice to have a decayed tooth treated. Little did her family know on that day in January of 2016, their little girl would be drugged, and as a result experience seizures and oxygen deprivation.

Now permanently injured, the girl’s parents, Courissa Clark and Derrick Hall, sued the practice and after a three-day trial in the 269th State District Court, they were awarded $95.5 million in damages.

Despite being awarded the large amount, the family likely will never see the money because Jefferson’s malpractice insurance only covered a small portion.

One of the family’s attorney’s, James R. Moriarty, said, “Even though the family won’t collect a dime, this verdict will resonate across the county. In these corrupt dental Medicare offices, and every single one of those dentists, have now been upon notice.” 

“The problem is the dentist has long since paid the pittance that she could pay. Now, we’re sitting here and we’re screwed,” Moriarty explained.

Both parents are working to strategize how they will care for their differently-abled daughter.

The Houston jurors believed the parents’ claim that Jefferson physically restrained their child during the life-changing visit and negligently medicated young Neveah.

The mother said after the doctor and his team intentionally kept her from seeing the child, after she started experiencing seizures — prompted by the medication which resulted in brain damage.

In an interview with FOX 26, Clark said she heard her daughter cry out an hour into the procedure, believing this was the time her child’s seizures started. The concerned mom said she went to see what was going wrong and was told at the time by Dr. Jefferson not to worry and to return to the waiting area.

Hours after the initial screams, an ambulance arrived after the girl had fallen unconscious. By the time they saw Neveah, it was too late. She had suffered significant oxygen loss, leaving her brain damaged.

After the incident and being admonished for different incidents in 2005 and in 2012, the Texas Dental Board stripped Jefferson’s medical license in November 2016.

The next year, a Harris County grand jury indicted the dentist for “intentionally and knowingly by omission causing serious bodily injury to a child by failing to seek and provide adequate medical attention.” She went before judge Marc Carter in the 228th District Court on Monday, July 31, 2017, to receive the indictment.

This trial is set to start next month.

Six years later, Neveah is 10 years old but unable to live her life like other children her age. She requires, according to the family’s testimony during the trial, 24-hour medical care, and “she can no longer see, speak, walk or eat on her own.”

Her grandmother Clara Clark said, “It changed her life, and it changed ours. Can you imagine if that was your child, we had a normal healthy child?”

“Things happen every day in the medical field, that’s understandable. But you do the right thing, and you call 911,” the grandmother continued. “But that’s not what she did, and she was so cold about the whole situation.”

Moriarty said in a press release, “Nevaeh’s family is grateful for the service and attention of the jury. They hope that this verdict will help prevent other families from suffering preventable tragedies like this one.”

“This jury has heard more evidence of corruption in the Medicaid dental system than any jury in this country. After they heard that evidence, they came back with a verdict that said, ‘Your damages are huge.’ That’s more than a moral victory. That is a message to every crooked dentist in this country that if you abuse our vulnerable children if you take advantage of them, if you steal from the taxpayer, we will hold you accountable,” Moriarty continued.

“The evidence in trial was heartbreaking,” Moriarty’s co-counsel, Ryan Skiver further offered. “A 30-pound girl, little more than a toddler, was physically and chemically suffocated by an out-of-control, financially motivated dentist.”

Moriarty added, “This terrible incident was the consequence of the epidemic of overtreating children at corporate-owned Medicaid clinics to maximize profits. Nevaeh was one of many child victims of rotten dentists like Bethaniel Jefferson.”

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