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Settlement reached in girl's death - Hawaii News - HonoluluStar-Advertiser

Administrative and criminal probes into dentist Lilly Geyer are still ongoing

By Rob Shikina

POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Sep 04, 2014

LAST UPDATED: 03:23 a.m. HST, Sep 04, 2014

The family of a girl who fell into a coma during a dental procedure in Kailua and later died has settled a lawsuit against the dentist, the family’s attorney said.

“The family’s pleased,” said attorney Rick Fried. “It was a fair settlement.”

Three-year-old Finley Boyle stopped breathing in the dentist’s chair in December after she went in to Dr. Lilly Geyer’s practice for cavities and baby root canals. She died a month later.

An autopsy ruled she died of complications following cardiac arrest, which was probably caused by the drugs given to sedate her.

Fried said the settlement, reached in June, is confidential but the amount was substantial.

Two other investigations involving the dentist are still underway.

The state Regulated Industries Complaints Office is conducting an administrative investigation and the state Narcotics Enforcement Division has opened a criminal investigation.

Court records show that last week a judge denied the state’s motion to compel Geyer’s employees to testify in the administrative investigation.

Daria Loy-Goto, the state chief complaints and enforcement officer, said despite the judge’s ruling, the case is continuing.

An administrative investigation could result in Geyer losing her license to practice dentistry in Hawaii. In January, Geyer closed her practice, Island Dentistry for Children.

Toni Schwartz, spokeswoman for the Department of Public Safety, said after the state’s criminal probe wraps up the case will be forwarded to the prosecutor’s office.

Fried said the settlement represented what the loss of the girl meant to the family, her potential family, her future income, and the dentist’s conduct.

“Obviously, in our view, it was egregious conduct,” he said.

Fried said although Geyer claimed to be qualified to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation, she didn’t attempt to do so and her staff went to get a pediatrician down the hall without notifying the mother, a registered nurse, who was waiting for her daughter.

He said the dentist later showed a form listing the drugs and doses that she gave to Boyle, who weighed 38pounds. Fried said the concoction massively exceeded what should be given to someone of Boyle’s age and weight.

Fried said he suspects that Geyer had given other patients the same concoction because the list detailing drugs and dosages was on a preprinted form.

Geyer’s attorney, John Nishimoto, did not return a call for comment.

Fried said he spoke with Finley’s mother, Ashley Boyle, an oncology nurse in Hawaii, this week and that she continues to wrestle with the loss. Finley’s parents separated before the incident and her father moved to the mainland.

“It’s tough every day,” Fried said. Finley “was her only child, and totally healthy.”

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