The Schwartz Case
Mr. Schwartz decided to that he wanted to explore LASIK surgery and visited a LASIK center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He was evaluated and approved as a candidate for LASIK surgery, underwent the surgery on a Friday and returned on Saturday for his first post-operative visit. Everything looked fine, and he was told to continue with his recovery and recuperation.
Unfortunately, on Saturday night, while lifting his disabled wife into the bathroom, a drop of sweat landed on his eye. He immediately tried to call the LASIK center and then called the emergency number that they provided for him. When he called the emergency number, however, he received a recorded message. He tried calling the number several more times and, still receiving a message, he went to a local emergency room. After not receiving treatment for his eye at the emergency room, he returned to the LASIK vision center and made to sit and wait for several hours until he was directed to a local eye hospital where he received immediate treatment for an infection in his eye.
The infection was had been left untreated for approximately 18 hours. Eye infections are very aggressive and need to be treated rather quickly.
After several months of intensive daily eye antibiotic treatment, the plaintiff was left with cloudy vision in the affected eye. Wearing a contact lens can restore vision for a few hours; however, he is unable to wear the contact lens for more than three or four hours at a stretch. He was left with a permanent loss of vision.
The defendants’ experts took the position that this was an aggressive infection that could not have been treated.