On August 1, 2019, 18 year-old Emmalyn Nguyen underwent breast augmentation surgery. After being administered anesthesia she went into cardiac arrest. Nguyen fell into a comma and died 14-months later.
A jury deliberated for about five hours before finding Dr. Geoffrey Kim guilty of attempted manslaughter and obstruction of telephone service. He was acquitted of criminally negligent homicide as reported by 9 News.
During the trial, two nurses testified they asked for “permission to call 911,” but Kim denied the request. Kim also admitted to not calling 911 for “approximately five hours.” Unfortunately, Nguyen was left with a brain injury enabling her to speak, walk, or feed herself.
“We understand medical procedures don’t always go as planned, but this defendant showed a shocking and extreme lack of judgment and humanity by failing to call for an ambulance and denying his patient appropriate treatment in a hospital setting,” Chief Deputy District Attorney Gary Dawson said in a statement.
The success of the wrongful death lawsuit resulted in Kim paying the Nguyen family $1 million in an out-of-court settlement.
“Patients put their trust in doctors, and the outcome might have been different had the defendant sought appropriate medical care,” Dawson said. “This defendant made decisions based on what was best for his business and not for his patient.”
A sentencing hearing is set for September 8, 2023, he faces up to three years in prison.