Family of Eden Prairie Teen who Died after Wisdom Teeth Extraction Sues Dentist

Sydney Galleger died from complications during a wisdom teeth extraction surgery Photo: CaringBridge, File
Sydney Galleger died from complications during a wisdom teeth extraction surgery

January 27, 2017 01:23 PM

The family of an Eden Prairie teen who died during a routine procedure to extract her wisdom teeth has filed a lawsuit against an Edina dentist who performed the surgery.

According to officials, the then-17-year-old Sydney Galleger died from complications during the procedure. Her mother, Diane Galleger, said her daughter's blood pressure shot up, her pulse dropped and she went into cardiac arrest. Sydney died later at Children's Hospital.


RELATED: Eden Prairie Teen Dies after Procedure for Extracting Wisdom Teeth

Now, the family is suing Dr. Paul Tompach, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon who conducted the procedure, claiming he knew the sedative medications he was administering during the procedure would increase the likelihood that Sydney's breathing would be impaired. The lawsuit also claims the dentist either did not have or failed to use monitoring equipment that would measure Sydney's carbon dioxide level.

The lawsuit also alleges that Dr. Tompach relied on his dental assistants to monitor the teen despite the fact that the assistants were not trained to do so.

Through the lawsuit, the family alleges Dr. Tompach "subjected Sydney to an unreasonable and unacceptable risk of serious harm."

An investigation conducted by the Minnesota Board of Dentistry into the incident revealed that there was "probable cause to believe continued practice by [Dr. Tompach] presents an imminent risk of harm," according to the lawsuit, and his license was suspended.

However, Dr. Tompach was able to resume his practice with some limitations in March. He is currently prohibited from administering general anesthesia to his patients.

RELATED: Dentist Allowed to Resume Practice with Limitations after Eden Prairie Teen's Death

Sydney's family claims, through the lawsuit, that it incurred roughly $200,000 in medical, funeral, burial and related expenses as a result of the incident.

According to the lawsuit, the family is seeking more than $50,000 in damages, with the additional statement made that that amount "is made only to satisfy pleading requirements; the pecuniary loss sustained by Sydney's family in this case is obviously much more significant."


Rebecca Omastiak

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