HONOLULU — In a story Sept. 8 about a former dentist charged with manslaughter, The Associated Press reported erroneously the cause of death a 3-year-old patient. According to the attorney representing the girl’s parents, the death certificate for Finley Boyle said she died of cardiac arrest, not a heart attack.
A corrected version of the story is below:
Hawaii dentist charged with manslaughter in death of girl, 3
A former Hawaii dentist has been charged with manslaughter for the 2014 death of a 3-year-old girl who suffered cardiac arrest during a dental procedure
By JENNIFER SINCO KELLEHER
HONOLULU — A former Hawaii dentist has been charged with manslaughter for the 2014 death of a 3-year-old girl who suffered cardiac arrest during a dental procedure.
A grand jury indicted Lilly Geyer Thursday on 37 counts, including manslaughter, medical assistance fraud and assault, the state attorney general’s office said.
Finley Boyle lapsed into a coma after receiving an array of sedatives and anesthesia in preparation for cavity fillings and root canals, according to an autopsy report. The report concluded the cardiac arrest was likely the result of the five drugs, which included Demerol, hydroxyzine and chlorohydrate. She was also given laughing gas and an injection of a local anesthetic, lidocaine with epinephrine, the report said.
Richard Fried, the lawyer representing the girl’s parents, said the death certificate cited cardiac arrest as the cause of death.
Geyer’s practice, Island Dentistry for Children in Kailua, has since closed.
Geyer is currently traveling, said her attorney, Michael Green. He said he would make arrangements for her to surrender to authorities.
“She’s not practicing so they can’t say she remains a danger to anybody,” Green said. “I’m not unsympathetic to the family of this little girl who died, but this was not a woman who was hell bent on hurting people.”
Geyer has been distraught since the girl’s death, Green said. “I’m just really worried about her mental health,” he said.
The Honolulu medical examiner classified the death as an accident.
Geyer’s insurance company settled a lawsuit by the Boyle family for an undisclosed amount.
Fried said they’re pleased about the indictment. The case frightened Hawaii parents and changed how they select dentists for young children, he said: “I think folks are much more cautious now about credentials and sedation.”
After the girl’s death, the state started investigating Geyer’s use of the drugs on patients.
The indictment accuses Geyer of making false statements to the medical assistance program to get higher compensation than she was entitled to receive. She’s accused of illegally administering Meperidine and Chloral-Hydrate. One of those patients was a 2-year-old child who suffered serious injury, according to the indictment.
A dental assistant at Geyer’s former office was charged earlier this year with assault and drug violations for the 2-year-old, who was unconscious for 12 hours after she was given the narcotics during a routine checkup.
Follow Jennifer Sinco Kelleher at http://www.twitter.com/JenHapa. Her work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/jennifer-sinco-kelleher.