Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Law Blog

Hawaiian Dentist Charged in Death of Young Patient

Posted by Briggs Bedigian | Sep 21, 2016 | 0 Comments

Just the other day, we wrote about 14-month-old Daisy Torres who died under anesthesia when her dentist was doing dental work on the child's baby teeth. Unfortunately, the death of a patient while under anesthesia is not an isolated event. However, it seems more tragic when the victim is a young child. Now, a dentist in Hawaii has been charged with manslaughter after a 3-year-old patient died during a dental procedure.

Finley Boyle was only 3-years-old when her parents took her for a visit to the dentist. The dentist, Lilly Geyer, said the girl needed 4 root canals. Trusting the dentist, her parents waited while the young girl underwent the dental procedure. They never expected a visit to the child's dentist to end in the toddler's death.

According to investigators, the 3-year-old was given a powerful mixture of sedatives before undergoing the root canal at Island Dentistry for Children in Kailua on the island of Oahu. During the procedure, the girl fell into a coma. She was taken to the hospital but was later pronounced dead.

The Honolulu medical examiner classified the girl's death as an accident. However, an autopsy showed that the child was given a combination of anesthesia and sedatives, and she died of cardiac arrest. There were five drugs in the child's system, including Demerol, hydroxyzine, chloralhydrate, laughing gas, and local anesthetic.

The Boyle family was shocked by the child's death and wanted answers. “What I would like done is some justice for my daughter,” said the child's mother, Ashley. “No one has been held accountable. Lilly Geyer has never been arrested or criminally charged. These are my beliefs, that she should be criminally charged.”

It took a lengthy investigation and almost 3 years before the attorney general's office indicted Geyer on 37 counts. The counts included manslaughter, assault, prohibited acts related to controlled substances, and medical assistance fraud. Court documents state, “Lilly Geyer did recklessly cause the death of Finley Boyle, thereby committing the offense of manslaughter.”

Geyer is no longer practicing dentistry. Her attorney says he is making arrangements for Geyer to surrender to authorities. If convicted, Geyer could face up to 20 years in prison on the manslaughter charge, 5 years for the controlled substances charge, and another 5 years for assault.

A former dental assistant working in Geyer's dental office is facing prison time for a drug charge violation. According to the attorney general's office, Nicole Dudoit will be sentenced for a controlled substance charge after giving narcotics to a 2-year-old patient, leaving the girl unconscious for almost 12 hours.

If you or a loved one was injured by a medical mistake, you may have a claim against your healthcare provider for the damages suffered. A medical malpractice claim may allow you to recover monetary damages for your medical bills, pain, and suffering. At Gilman & Bedigian we have been fighting for medical malpractice victims for decades, with a focus on getting you the compensation you deserve, so you can get better and move forward with your life.

About the Author

Briggs Bedigian

H. Briggs Bedigian (“Briggs”) is a founding partner of Gilman & Bedigian, LLC.  Prior to forming Gilman & Bedigian, LLC, Briggs was a partner at Wais, Vogelstein and Bedigian, LLC, where he was the head of the firm's litigation practice.  Briggs' legal practice is focused on representing clients involved in medical malpractice and catastrophic personal injury cases. 

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