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Florida man dies after dentist dropped tools down his throat twice

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An elderly man in Winter Park, Florida eventually died after receiving two dental surgeries, during which, the dentist dropped two operating tools down the man’s throat.

The 90-year-old man, Charles K. Gaal Jr., received the first surgery on October 4, 2006. The dentist, Dr. Wesley Meyers of Aloma Park Dental, dropped an “implant screwdriver tool” down Gaal’s throat, which he swallowed. Gaal underwent a colonoscopy and the screwdriver was removed from his intestines. Gaal then visited the dentist for a second time on May 1, 2007 because he had a sore mouth. Meyers decided to perform surgery to remove a “ball” attachment on an implant and dropped a “mini-wrench” down Gaal’s throat. According to Meyers, Gaal also presumably swallowed the “ball attachment” because he could not locate it after the surgery. Gaal underwent multiple medical procedures to remove the tool, which was found in his lung. His chest cavity was cracked open and part of his left lung was removed to dislodge the tool. Gaal never fully recovered from the multiple operations and eventually died on June 19, 2007 after suffering cardiac arrest.

Gaal’s family has filed suit in Orange County Circuit Court, accusing Meyers of failing to take precautions to keep the tools from falling down Gaal’s throat during both incidents. The state of Florida also fined Meyers $17,000 in June 2008 after officials found the dentist negligent for dropping the tools down Gaal’s throat.