Late diagnosis of glaucoma

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Case in Point

March 20, 2012

Late diagnosis of glaucoma 

Suit alleged that an optometrist and his practice failed to timely diagnose a patient’s glaucoma in light of symptoms including eye pain and worsening vision. The parties settled for about $1.38 million. Peters v. Krall.

In 2002, Glenn Peters, 55, began seeing optometrist Robert Krall. Over the next seven years, Peters underwent intraocular pressure (IOP) checks, which showed elevated pressure in 2004 and 2005. Peters complained of increased pain in his eyes and worsening vision. In 2009, Peters’s IOP measured 41 mmHg—twice the normal limit. Krall referred him to an ophthalmologist, who diagnosed glaucoma necessitating immediate surgery. Despite this intervention, Peters is now legally blind.

Peters and his wife sued Krall and his practice, alleging failure to timely diagnose glaucoma in light of Peters’s symptoms. The plaintiffs asserted that increased eye pain is a symptom of acute angle-closure glaucoma, a condition that requires prompt surgery. Had Peters undergone timely surgery, the plaintiffs argued, he would not have become legally blind. Peters, who continues to work, did not claim lost income but did claim damages for his increased transportation costs.

The parties settled for about $1.38 million.

Citation: Peters v. Krall, No. 2163/11 (N.Y., Columbia Co. Sup. Dec. 2, 2011).

Plaintiff counsel: AAJ member Alan S. Zwiebel and Jon Fairbanks, both of Kingston, N.Y.

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