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Family of Hawaii toddler who died after dental work settles suit

By Malia Mattoch McManus

HONOLULU (Reuters) - Relatives of a 3-year-old Hawaii girl who suffered brain injuries and died after undergoing a dental procedure that went awry late last year have settled the malpractice lawsuit brought in the case, the family's lawyer said on Wednesday.

The attorney, L. Richard Fried Jr., said terms of the agreement with the dentist's insurance company were confidential, ”but we are very happy with the settlement.” He added that an investigation by state authorities was continuing.

The toddler, Finley Boyle, visited Dr. Lilly Geyer and her Island Dentistry for Children practice in Honolulu on Dec. 3 for extensive dental work that was to include four root canals and multiple cavity fillings, according to court documents.

The family claims that all of the procedures had been recommended by Geyer.

Fried has said the child went into cardiac arrest when given a "grossly excessive" amount of sedatives, and later suffered brain damage. She died the following month.

The family claims that the staff of Geyer's practice were improperly trained for emergencies and failed to check the young patient's vital signs for 26 minutes.

Geyer’s attorneys were not available for comment on the settlement. Island Dentistry for Children has since closed permanently.

The news service Hawaii News Now reported that state authorities were conducting an inquiry to determine whether Geyer would be permitted to keep her dental license, and that the state Narcotics Enforcement Division was looking into possible criminal charges.

(Reporting by Maliah Mattoch McManus in Honolulu; Editing by Steve Gorman)

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