A state jury this afternoon found former Kailua dentist Lilly Geyer not guilty on all charges in the death of 3-year-old Finley Boyle.
Geyer, 41, was performing a baby root canal when the child stopped breathing during the procedure and went into cardiac arrest on Dec. 3, 2013. Boyle died a month later.
Honolulu Chief Medical Examiner Christopher Happy said Boyle “likely died as a result of the sedatives and local anesthesia given at the time of the dental procedure.”
A grand jury indictment against Geyer charged her with manslaughter for recklessly causing the child’s death; manslaughter by omission for failing to get timely medical assistance after the girl stopped breathing; and second-degree assault for recklessly causing serious bodily injury.
During the trial, Geyer’s lawyers argued that the lingering effects of an upper respiratory infection that Boyle’s mother never disclosed to Geyer caused the girl’s vocal cords to temporarily slam shut under sedation, cutting off the girl’s airway. Boyle was diagnosed with the infection less than a month before her dental procedure. Her mother said after the incident that her daughter had a residual cough from the infection and that she had given the girl medication for it on the morning of the dental appointment.
Geyer testified that she would not have had Boyle sedated had she known about the infection. Boyle’s mother and state expert witnesses testified that the girl displayed no signs of the infection.
Geyer shut down her practice, Island Dentistry for Children in Kailua, following the child’s death and no longer works as a dentist.
After suing Geyer, Boyle’s parents reached a confidential, out-of-court settlement.