Indiana Lawsuit for Laser Eye Surgery Denied and Appealed

A medical malpractice Indiana lawsuit was filed against Dr. Schraut, a retinal ophthalmologist located in Lafayette, Indiana by Mr. Paul Arlton of Indiana following his laser eye surgery in 2002. However, Mr. Arlton lost the lawsuit so his attorneys are filing an appeal based on the contention that jurors did not receive certain medical images that would have otherwise supported Arlton’s claim.

Mr. Paul Arlton had seen Dr. Schraut because of an eye condition known as choroidal neovascularization in his left eye. This condition occurs when there is abnormal blood vessel growth and can cause vision loss or blindness, when left untreated. In 1987, Arlton had undergone laser eye surgery to destroy the abnormal growth of blood vessels. However, treatment was not 100% successful due to resulting scar formation which created a blind spot in Arlton’s vision.

In November 2002, Dr. Schraut performed laser eye surgery on Arlton’s left eye due to the reoccurrence of his choroidal neovascularization. Mr. Artlon understood the risk of unexplained vision loss following surgery, but wanted to proceed with the procedure. This procedure was not successful as well. Arlton had 20/15 vision, with a blind spot in his vision before surgery, but had 20/400 vision, periodic double vision, eye pain and headaches following surgery with Dr. Schraut. The results of the surgery have been remedied with Arlton’s use of eyeglasses that have a prism, but Artlon feels his reading speed has been significantly reduced.

Arlton then sought after other opinions who agreed that nothing else could be done to compensate for his vision loss. Finally, Arlton found one professor of ophthalmology at John Hopkins University who determined that the laser used by Dr. Schraut had burned the area over the original scar, causing failure of the nerve fibers to carry visual images to the brain and the consequential decreased vision capacity for Mr. Arlton.

Mr. Arlton’s attorneys feel that the jury would have sided with Mr.Arlton in the lawsuit proceedings had they seen images of Arlton’s eye taken while in the surgery with Dr. Schraut.

When to comes to litigation, there is a difference between negligence and complications. Negligence must be proven to substantiate a lawsuit claim. There is also the medical legal aspect of informed consent. Informed consent is a process in which every physician must perform with each patient. The informed consent process employs several tools to ensure that patients interested in surgery understand the diagnosis, the proposed treatment plan, alternatives to treatments, risks and benefits. To learn more about Indiana informed consent, check in with our article about that topic.

Burton Padove, Indiana and Illinois lawyer, is available to help those who are injured because of medical malpractice. He can be reached at (877) 446 5294.

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