A Fulton County, Georgia medical malpractice jury returned a defense verdict on April 18, 2018 in a Georgia medical malpractice case in which the father of a minor alleged that the medical negligence of the defendant ophthalmologist resulted in his son losing his eyesight in his right eye.
The Georgia medical malpractice jury took ninety minutes following an eight-day trial to find that the defendant was not responsible for the now 17-year-old’s loss of eyesight in his right eye in 2012, allegedly as a result of panuveitis (the inflammation of all layers of the uvea of the eye, which includes the iris, ciliary body, and choroid).
According to the plaintiff’s Georgia medical malpractice lawsuit, the 12-year-old was raking leaves in his yard in 2012 when he felt something like an eyelash in his eye. Over the next two days, his eye became red and was itchy. His mother brought him to his pediatrician’s office, where he was seen by a nurse practitioner who diagnosed the young man with mild micro abrasions and a possible allergy for which he was prescribed antihistamine eye drops and an antibiotic ointment.
When her son’s eye condition did not improve within a week, the mother brought her son to an eye specialist, who diagnosed her son with a likely allergy and prescribed a steroid. A week later, half of the son’s eye became red and swollen for which the eye specialist changed the medication and instructed that the young man return to his office in a few days. At the time of the follow up appointment, the eye specialist diagnosed iritis and ordered further testing. Despite such treatment, the young man’s eye condition deteriorated as the inflammation spread throughout his eye. The eye specialist consulted with a retinal specialist who diagnosed the young man as likely having panuveitis.
The retinal specialist referred the young man to another eye specialist, who thought he might have endophthalmitis and prescribed antibiotics to be injected into the eye. Despite the various treatments, the young man suffered a detached retina that could not be reattached and he suffered slow atrophy of his right eye and complete loss of eyesight in his right eye. He now wears a scleral shell over his shrinking right eye.
After the Georgia medical malpractice jury returned its verdict in favor of the defendants, the plaintiff’s Georgia medical malpractice attorney stated, “This was a hard-fought case, and we’re obviously disappointed with the verdict. We believe the doctors had multiple opportunities to prevent this tragedy. We had a chance to take our case before a jury, and we understand that has consequences.”
The defense attorney stated after the verdict, “That [an infection] could never be proved. Everyone agreed that for there to be an infection, there had to be some penetration of the eyeball. Our position was that he had a non-infectious form of inflammation. The plaintiffs’ theory was that there was some very tiny, self-sealing penetration from something very thin. But this would have been a through-and-through puncture in order to have caused an infection inside the eye.”
If you or a family member suffered serious injury or other harm that may be due to eye doctor malpractice in the United States, you should promptly find a medical malpractice attorney in your state who may investigate your eye doctor medical malpractice claim for you and represent you in an eye doctor medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
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