Dr. Meyers, found negiligent by a jury of his peers in a state licensing review, was fined a whopping $17,000. Or about six months worth of yacht payments for the good doctor.
Now, the heirs of Mr. Gaal have decided to sue Dr. Meyers for what, observers expect, will be a tad more than $17k.
Dr. Meyers has said that this whole incident is a misunderstanding. He did, in fact, accidently drop the screwdriver down Mr. Gaals throat in 2006. The fumble-fingered dentist told Mr. Gaal that he thought his discomfort from having a screwdriver in his digestive tract would pass. Literally.
After several months of laxatives, extra roughage and a strict regimen of prune juice cocktails, there was no sign that the tool had left the building, so to speak. Gaal returned to confer with the dentist to plot his next 'movement,' in a manner of speaking, when the patient had a shocking request: Leave the implement where it is.
According to Dr. Meyers, Gaal told him that ever since he swallowed the titanium screwdriver, he had been receiving FM radio broadcasts through his pacemaker. He found it entertaining, relaxing and a great way to pick up chicks, which, for an 89-year old man, is no mean feat.
Mr. Gaal, a retired cupcake baker and amateur radio hobbyist, convinced Dr. Meyers to drop another tool down his throat that following year in an effort to receive AM radio transmissions, in addition to FM. Said Dr. Meyers, "He said he was able to tune in different stations by posing his arms in different positions and, though he had been "up and down the dial, couldn't find a dang thing worth listening to."
All he wanted was to be able to pick up AM radio to listen to Rush Limbaugh on the weekdays and Greb Grywyzklywicz' Polka Party Favorites on Saturday evenings, so the doctor complied by sending a mini wrench down the hatch to join the screwdriver.
The combination of the two instruments succeeded in Mr. Gaal being able to tune in his favorite AM programs. Unfortunately, the combination of instuments also succeeded in blocking Mr. Gaal's windpipe, necessitating their removal.
Admitted one relative of Mr. Gaal, "He may not have been able to breathe, but, on his last Saturday night on this earth, I can tell you that he was one happy man listening to those polkas before he slipped away in the operating room."
Dr. Meyers, caught off guard by the relatives' lawsuit against him, has countersued in an attempt to get his instruments back. Ms. Sue Emahl, the attorney representing the dentist, claimed, "Dr. Meyers is only looking for the return of his property--the tools of his trade. He makes no claims on the crowns, fillings and bridgework installed on Mr. Gaal over the years, but feels he is being unfairly restricted from earning a living by the withholding of the instruments in question."
"Through the lips and over the tongue, look out below, here they come....."