State to reopen case against accused dentist - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

State to reopen case against accused Big Island dentist

Dr. John Stover Dr. John Stover
HILO, BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) -

There are new allegations and investigations looking into the dentist and cosmetic surgeon accused of putting a 23 year old woman into intensive care.

Kristen Tavares' family was told they may have to prepare for the worst. That if she awakens from the coma the mother of two young children may never be the same.

Several of Dr. John Stover's patients and former employees have come forward with new allegations and the State plans to reopen a complaint accusing Dr. Stover of abandoning a patient in the middle of a surgery over the bill.

Dr. John Stover's automated email reply says, "Safe, effective, personalized care. That is our promise to you."

But former patients beg to differ.

"He was very rough with me," said Herman Van Velzer, former patient.

Herman Van Velzer, 78, went in for eye lid surgery to help his vision. He says Dr. Stover started the procedure, cut his eyelids and abruptly stopped.

"Then he asked me, 'How are you going to be paying for this?' I mean what is that all about? I said what?" said Van Velzer.

He then says Dr. Stover became angry and abandoned him in the operating room.

"He just got up," claims Van Velzer. "I said wait, what do you want? And he kept on walking out."

His stepdaughter was in the waiting room and was in disbelief when her dad was brought out.

"He came out and his eyes were cut and bleeding and I was extremely alarmed," said Anna Matsui, Van Velzer's step-daughter.

They went to the emergency room. Then they eventually filed a formal complaint with the State. That was two years ago and were only told in January there was insufficient evidence to punish Dr. Stover.

"Nobody even came here to interview us or look at what evidence we have. To be told over the phone we don't have enough I think is false. It's very frustrating and disappointing," said Matsui.

"We're just wondering how many more patients have been treated like us. That woman, I feel for her family. She would not be in this situation if somebody paid attention," continued Matsui, referring to Kristen Tavares, who has been in a coma since having her wisdom teeth pulled March 17, 2014.

"They're wasting taxpayer money by being in existence if they can't do anything," said Van Velzer.

The state says it is reopening the Van Velzer eyelid case and will again investigate any wrongdoing.

"It's the job of the state to say if this person is no good we're not going to continue to license them and they're not going to continue to practice," said Josh Green, MD, who is a State Senator from the Big Island and an emergency room physician. "Just like any discipline there are always a couple people that aren't going to be great so if you've had a problem speak up."

We did speak with Dr. Stover's lawyer Arthur Roeca today. He said it would be inappropriate to comment about any of the allegations against his client. He also said Dr. Stover would not be responding to the allegations in the media.

Since we broke this story last week more than a dozen patients have contacted us accusing Dr. Stover of botching their procedures. Some say they were admitted to the emergency room because of too much anesthesia and others say they needed specialists to fix the work done by Dr. Stover.

We also learned Dr. Stover is not a current member of the Hawaii Dental Association or the American Dental Association.

"The Hawaii Dental Association does not know the circumstances surrounding this case so it would be highly inappropriate to comment on it. However, the HDA expresses our deepest sympathies to the family of Kristen Tavares during this very difficult time," said Dr. Lili Horton, Hawaii Dental Association President.

Related Links:

Four complaints follow doctor involved in dental tragedy on Hilo

Doctor accused of putting woman in coma also accused of threatening employees

Hilo woman in coma following wisdom teeth extraction

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