The Toth Case
This 69 year-old married plaintiff underwent a bi-lateral blepharoplasty to remove excess skin on his upper eyelids which was sagging and restricting his field of vision. The eye surgeon removed too much skin by a factor of ten (x10) and removed too much levator muscle (the muscle controlling the upper eyelid) leaving the patient with extremely high, peaked upper eyelids forming a permanent, unequal “startle” expression. he was unable to close his eyes and suffers from “dry eye.”
The surgeon exceeded the patient’s consent for the surgery and performed a more radical procedure than was medically necessary. No levator muscle should have been removed at all. The surgeon mismatched and misapproximated tissue during surgery and damaged the nerves above the eyebrow. The patient underwent in excess of 36 surgeries, debridements and skin grafts in a three-year effort to create functioning upper eyelids so he could close his eyes. The surgeries were only partially successful.
The surgeon admitted that he was negligent and the jury returned a six-figure verdict after two days of deliberations.