HONOLULU (AP) - The parents of a 3-year-old girl who suffered massive brain damage have filed a lawsuit against a Kailua, Oahu, dentist, alleging negligence and dangerous conduct in sedating the child.
Ashley and Evan Boyle filed the lawsuit Monday against Lilly Geyer and unidentified staff members at Island Dentistry for Children. The lawsuit seeks special and general damages.
The injured girl, Finley Boyle, was diagnosed with 10 cavities and in need of four root canals in her first dental exam, according to the plaintiffs. The Boyles say they returned to the dental office with their daughter Dec. 3 and the girl was given high doses of Demerol, hydroxyzine and chloral hydrate, as well as nitrous oxide.
She has been unresponsive since then.
"She will probably not be with us much longer," said Ashley Boyle, a registered nurse. "We were all hoping. Even the doctors are in tears. We were all just waiting for her to wake up."
Geyer and her staff have not responded to requests for comment.
The plaintiffs' attorney, Rick Fried Jr., said there's no evidence all precautions were taken. He also said that most of the dental work was unnecessary.
Dental records obtained by Fried show three notations on the child's vital signs the morning of Dec. 3. According to guidelines by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, vital signs should be monitored and documented at least every five minutes for patients undergoing sedation.
Boyle said that she became aware of the problem when she saw emergency responders arrive at the office. The staff also summoned a pediatrician down the hall, according to Boyle.
Geyer was issued a license to practice dentistry in the state in July 2005. As of last month, there were no records of complaints against her or her practice on file with the Hawaii Department Of Commerce and Consumer Affairs.
Boyle said her daughter would be healthy today if simple precautions had been taken.