Recent Ophthalmic Malpractice Verdicts and Settlements
Ophthalmic claim trends for both OMIC and the industry show modest increases in both frequency and severity during the past two years. Ophthalmology is currently ranked #11 on a list of the top 25 specialties for claim frequency and #17 for claim severity. Some studies of PIAA (Physician Insurer Association of America) data show pockets of increased frequency in the Northeast and Midwest regions of the U.S. however the data is not yet sufficient to identify as a trend as opposed to simply an anomaly.
Here is a sampling of ophthalmic claim verdicts and settlements (with allegation) during the past 6 months:
Defense Verdict – Indiana – Allegation of failure to monitor causing optic nerve damage following surgery for meningioma.
$1.85M Settlement – Massachusetts – Allegation of loss of vision caused by undiluted clindamycin injected in eye for toxoplasmosis treatment.
$550k Settlement – Ohio – Allegation of corneal flap slippage and stria in cornea caused by LASIK being performed even though patient had guttata in one eye.
Defense Verdict – California – Allegation of vision loss caused by keratectomy.
$1.89M Verdict – Nevada – Allegation of legal blindness in one eye after several cataract surgeries on both eyes.
$825k Settlement – Massachusetts – Allegation of decreased vision and need for corneal transplant caused by contradindicated prescription of Tobradex for corneal ulcer.
Defense Verdict – Illinois – Allegation of pre-existing keratoconus causing complications after LASIK.
Defense Verdict – Texas – Allegation of glaucoma and vision loss caused by prescription of steroid drops.
$750k Verdict – Pennsylvania – Allegation of loss of vision caused by failure to monitor and refer to specialist.
$550k Settlement – North Carolina – Allegation of loss of vision and blindness caused by failure to refer to specialist.
Defense Verdict – New York – Allegation of dislocated lens after cataract surgery.
$1.2M Settlement – New York – Allegation of loss of vision caused by failure to treat displaced artificial lens.
$400k Settlement – California – Allegation of blindness and loss of vision caused by failure to properly treat glaucoma at VA.
Confidential Settlement – Texas – Allegation of loss of vision caused by bacterial infection following cataract surgery.
Defense Verdict – Arizona – Allegation of blindness caused by failure to treat reaction to Neptazane.
Defense Verdict – Indiana – Allegation of improper patient selection causing ectasia following LASIK surgery.
$525 Settlement – Massachusetts - Allegation of improper patient selection causing loss of vision following LASIK surgery.
$1.75M Verdict – Illinois – Allegation of hemorrhage and loss of vision caused by unnecessary endoscopic cyclophotocoagulation procedure.
$250k Settlement – California – Allegation of blindness caused by failure to monitor and treat glaucoma.
Defense Verdict – Missouri – Allegation of loss of vision caused by delay in performing vitrectomy for diabetic retinopathy.
Defense Verdict – Kentucky – Allegation of misplaced artificial lens in cataract surgery.
Defense Verdict – Ohio – Allegation of penetration of globe from anesthesia during cataract surgery.
Defense Verdict – Nevada – Allegation of performance of incorrect procedure causing detached retina.
Defense Verdict – Florida – Allegation of discrimination due to termination of physician patient relationship due to cost of interpreter for hearing impaired patient.
Defense Verdict – Oregon – Allegation of corneal ulcer with pseudomonas aeruginosa infection caused by failure to examine eye condition in timely manner.
Defense Verdict – New Jersey – Allegation of hemorrhage following cataract surgery caused by continuation of patient use of coumadin.
Defense Verdict – Pennsylvania – Allegation of hypertensive retinopathy and branch retinal artery occlusion caused by performance of cataract surgery when patient’s blood pressure was elevated.
Defense Verdict for Physician/Confidential Settlement for Facility – Kansas – Allegation of blindness caused by failure to refer inmate to ophthalmologist in timely fashion.