The plaintiff, a woman nurse in her forties, had the prospect of LASIK surgery discussed with her by her ophthalmologist. She had become dependent upon contacts and glasses, and the ophthalmologist offered LASIK as an alternative. An appointment and surgery was then scheduled with a prominent Pittsburgh LASIK surgeon.
All pre-surgical screening and evaluation was done by the ophthalmologist. The surgeon did not see the plaintiff until the minute of surgery.
The eye surgeon had screening requirements that did not include any measurement for pupil size. The optometrist did not measure the nurse’s pupil size, although he did note that she had dry eyes, a contraindication of surgery.
The eye surgeon performed the surgery and, as a result, the LASIK procedure made the dry eye condition worse and, because of her pupil size, she experienced problems with fluctuating vision that were not readily curable.
A lawsuit was filed in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania against the optometrist for his improper pre-evaluation screening and against the eye surgeon for failing to review the screening and for failing to determine whether or not the nurse was a proper candidate for LASIK surgery. On behalf of the plaintiff, we sought damages for causing a change in the eye sight and vision of the nurse, as well as causing a dramatic change in her lifestyle and work. Experts for the plaintiff confirmed that she wasn’t a proper candidate, while experts for the defendants opined that the plaintiff was a suitable candidate and that her pupil size wasn’t measured at the time of the surgery.
Prior to trial, this case was resolved for a substantial settlement.