Skip to main content

Dentist sued after Minnesota teen dies during wisdom teeth surgery

Lawsuit says teen was subjected to "unreasonable and unacceptable risk of harm."

It was June 9, 2015 when 17-year-old Sydney Galleger was supposed to have a routine procedure to extract her wisdom teeth. But it turned into a tragedy the bright-eyed teenager never recovered from.

Now, Galleger's family is filing a lawsuit against the Edina dentist that performed the surgery.

According to the Star Tribune, the lawsuit lays out a timeline of the morning at the dental office.

  • 9:00 a.m. – Sydney's surgery began with Dr. Paul Tompach.
  • 9:15 - 9:20 a.m. – Her heart rate fell dramatically, she had no pulse and suffered cardiac arrest.
  • 9:31 a.m. – A 911 call was placed and CPR began before EMTs arrived.

EMT's worked on Galleger before taking her to the hospital. Six days later, the 17-year-old died.

The family claims that Dr. Tompach "subjected Sydney to an unreasonable and unacceptable risk of serious harm" in the lawsuit.

According to KSTP, the family says Dr. Tompach knew the sedative medications he administered to Galleger during the procedure would increase the chance that her breathing would become impaired.

The lawsuit also claims that he failed to use monitoring equipment to measure Sydney's carbon dioxide level.

The allegations match the findings of the state Board of Dentistry's investigation, which placed restrictions on him in March of 2016.

In June of 2015, the Hennepin County Medical Examiner ruled Galleger's death to be anoxic encephalopathy due to cardiac arrest. However, the report notes, "The manner of death is undetermined as the potential contributing role of medication administered during the surgical procedure could not be excluded."

According to the lawsuit, the family is seeking more than $50,000 in damages.

KSTP notes the family claims to have incurred roughly $200,000 in medical, funeral, burial and related expenses as a result of the incident, so the actual amount of the lawsuit could be much more significant.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-08-18 at 8.10.56 AM

Restrictions in place as Emerald Ash Borer found in Sherburne County

The county is now the 36th in the state with a confirmed presence of the invasive insect.

Fire, firefighters

Home that was scene of June standoff engulfed in fire

Authorities arrived to find the home fully ablaze.

Rosland park bridge

Crosstown Hwy. 62 reopens as footage emerges of truck hitting bridge

The westbound lanes were closed in Edina from Tuesday afternoon to Wednesday night.

Screen Shot 2022-08-17 at 8.31.42 PM

Flash flooding as torrential rain hammers Cambridge

Flooding and damage from a non-severe storm Wednesday evening.

Screen Shot 2022-08-17 at 4.02.18 PM

Minneapolis nonprofit celebrates anonymous donor's $1.5M gift

Appetite For Change is building sustainable, local food systems in North Minneapolis.

police lights

On the lam since 2007, suspect in MN murder case arrested in Florida

The suspect is one of three men connected to a fatal drive-by shooting on St. Paul's West Side.

Deer on road

Motorcyclist in collision with deer dies from injuries

The 55-year-old from Princeton died at a hospital a day after the crash.


Burnsville approves measure that will make its landfill much taller

The expansion will increase the landfill's allowable height by an additional 268 feet.

michael carbo

Northern MN man found guilty in 1980s cold case murder

Nancy Daugherty was found dead in the afternoon hours of July 16, 1986.

Red Ox Cafe

Breakfast spot in Ham Lake closes after decades in business

The business posted an announcement on its front door.

Screen Shot 2022-08-17 at 1.43.04 PM

St. Paul man killed partner, himself while their 5 kids were home

St. Paul confirmed the double shooting on Tuesday evening was murder-suicide.

Kids competing in USA Mullet Championships

Minnesota, Wisconsin kids competing in USA Mullet Championships

The contest is divided into kids and teens divisions.


Mother of teen who died after wisdom teeth surgery writes emotional post

Sydney Galleger went into cardiac arrest during the procedure.

'We will never know' why teen died after wisdom tooth surgery, mother writes

Sydney, a junior at Eden Prairie High School, died on June 15 after spending several days in the intensive care unit following the normally routine dental procedure.


Dentist accused of unnecessarily pulling kids' teeth, billing fraud

Dr. Andy Mancini owned La Petite Dentistry in Hudson, Wisconsin.