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Woman Suffered Brain Damage During Dental Surgery After Anesthesiologist with 'Cognitive Issues' Gave Her Fentanyl: Suit

The woman's husband has sued the dental practice and two dentists on allegations of negligence

<p>Facebook; Gofundme</p> Maria Lugo Querales

Facebook; Gofundme

Maria Lugo Querales

A Miami woman has been left with severe brain damage after a botched dental surgery in Texas left her hospitalized after an alleged fentanyl overdose.

The woman, Maria Lugo Querales, nearly died from the 2022 incident and now lives in an assisted living facility in Florida where she requires a feeding tube, according to a report this week by the San Antonio Express News.

Querales’ husband Luis Espana filed a civil medical malpractice complaint against the dental practice Nunnally, Freeman and Owens, located in Marble Falls, Texas. He is also suing the doctors involved in the surgery, Dr. Lane Freeman and Dr. Stuart Nunnally, on allegations of negligence, according to multiple reports.

Dr. Jerry Teague, the anesthesiologist who administered 400 micrograms of fentanyl to Querales, died from cancer two weeks after the incident with Querales. He was distraught and was allegedly dealing with “cognitive issues” at the time, his wife reportedly told police, according to the San Antonio Express News.

In a GoFundMe post, Espana says that after Querales was administered fentanyl, "my wife's vital signs began to drop, and she suddenly went into respiratory arrest, which led her to suffer brain damage, and thus a coma."

"We are in great need," the husband says now.

<p>Gofundme</p> Maria Lugo Querales

Gofundme

Maria Lugo Querales

The night before the surgery, Teague’s wife reported him missing after he went on an evening walk and never returned, the Express News reports. After he did, he told police he was dehydrated and disoriented, and refused medical attention. The next morning, Teague’s wife told police she drove him to work, according to the outlet.

At work, Teague reportedly never told his coworkers about how he went missing the night before, the Express News reported. He went on to administer an “excessive” amount of fentanyl to Querales, her husband alleges in the lawsuit.

The lawsuit also alleges that Teague did not properly intubate Querales, leading to breathing problems that required the dentists to call off the surgery and call paramedics to rush her to the hospital.

<p>Facebook</p> Maria Lugo Querales

Facebook

Maria Lugo Querales

Espana claims in his lawsuit that his wife sought out the elective dental surgery to repair “cavitations” after watching a video on Instagram by Dr. Ludwig Johnson, a social media influencer with about 1.9 million followers. Johnson had uploaded a video about the purported medical issue that featured Drs. Freeman and Nunnally discussing its problems and remedies.

The doctors “told the audience that ‘cavitations’ are wounds in the mouth where teeth have been pulled, such as wisdom teeth, where toxicity can rival that of a gangrenous wound,” Espana alleges in his most recent court filing, according to the newspaper.

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Espana alleges that the dental office then didn’t properly explain the risks of the surgery to his wife beforehand, though the dental office claims it did and that Querales had “consented to the recommended care,” according to The New York Post, which also reported on the lawsuit this week.

Querales’ husband is seeking an unspecified amount in damages from the doctors and the dental office. He reached a settlement with Teague’s estate last month.

Teague, who died in 2022, had previously had his medical license suspended from 2016 to 2019 after allegedly stealing medicine and testing positive for fentanyl during a drug test. The same year his suspension ended, he was hired by the Nunnally, Freeman and Owens dental practice in Texas.

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