Attorney says doctor failed to follow procedures, caused woman to fall into coma

Kristen Tavares
Kristen Tavares

A Big Island woman remains in a coma after a routine dental surgery went wrong.

Attorney Rick Fried says in March, Kristen Tavares went under anesthesia to get her wisdom teeth removed and never regained consciousness.

Fried says new rules put in place earlier in the year should have prevented her condition. “It required some fairly strict guidelines in order for anesthesia to be used in an outpatient setting,” Fried said.

Fried is now suing Tavares’ dentist, Dr. John Stover, on behalf of her family, claiming Stover failed to follow prescribed procedures. Fried says Stover had a dozen complaints filed against him before he closed his office.

Tavares has two children, ages four and three months old. She is currently at Maui Memorial Medical Center.

“I think (the family is) hoping for the best,” Fried said. “They were able to get her off the ventilator but beyond that, she’s really not very responsive.”

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