Attorneys: Charles Cooper
Facts: This case involved a 72-year-old woman who underwent cataract surgery. A few days after the surgery, our client went to a local emergency room complaining of severe head and eye pain. Physical examination by the ER physician revealed a white discharge from the eye. The doctor ran blood tests and directed our client to sit in a dark room for 6 hours. Our client’s cataract surgeon was finally contacted.
He told the ER doctor to send the client for immediate evaluation. Minutes later, our client was diagnosed with a rapidly progressing infection by her eye doctor. Our client was immediately sent to a renowned eye hospital for emergency surgery. The surgery was unsuccessful and our client was thereafter rendered permanently blind in her infected eye. The hospital defended this case on the theory that there was no chance to save our client’s eye even if there was an immediate referral for cataract surgery.
However, our firm contacted who many consider to be the best forensic ophthalmologist in the country from the renowned John Moran Eye Institute in Utah. After reviewing the conduct of the Emergency Physician, our expert concluded that the delay in getting our client to the eye hospital for surgery was a substantial factor in causing her blindness which could have been avoided with a proper diagnosis and prompt referral. The jury agreed and awarded our client $500,000.00.