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Medical malpractice suit verdict of $5M after woman left blind

Patients in Washington, D.C. and across the country put themselves in the hands of doctors and health care providers every day. What is a patient to do, then, when the doctor he or she trusted performs a procedure that leaves him or her blind? Sadly, this is just what happened to a 67-year-old woman when her ophthalmologist performed a risky procedure. A jury found the doctor guilty of medical malpractice.

A woman and her husband were recently awarded $5 million after a jury found her doctor liable for a failed procedure that left her legally blind. The woman was being treated for a form of macular degeneration, which is treatable and, while it can worsen vision, often does not result in blindness. However, her doctor performed a high-risk procedure that not only resulted in partial vision loss in her left eye and full vision loss in her right eye, but also in the eventual surgical removal of the right after it shrank so badly that subsequent treatments failed.

The lawsuit specified that this procedure was even more ill-advised and dangerous because of the patient's own medical history, of which the ophthalmologist was aware. Her doctor injected an aggressive steroid that quickly led to glaucoma, a common side effect of the procedure. This was especially irresponsible given that patient already had a history of glaucoma. The lawsuit further claimed that, rather than refer the patient to a specialist, the doctor performed a procedure for which he purportedly was not trained, and the patient was left blind and in excruciating pain as a result.

If patients in Washington, D.C. ever find themselves suffering as a result of doctor or hospital error, they might consider contacting an attorney with experience in medical malpractice cases. A lawyer will offer counsel on legal options available to victims of negligent doctors or botched medical procedures. Monetary damages awarded in successfully presented cases can be used toward, among other costs, medical bills and subsequent care, and the victim's pain and suffering, both physical and emotional.

Source: unionleader.com, "Verdict awards couple $5M after procedures leave woman legally blind", Kevin Landrigan, Dec. 9, 2016

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