Failure to confirm patient's LASIK treatment plan

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Case in Point

February 19, 2013

Failure to confirm patient's LASIK treatment plan 

The plaintiff alleged that another patient’s treatment plan was erroneously downloaded into the laser, resulting in the removal of about four times more corneal tissue than was intended. The jury awarded about $557,100. Husic v. TLC Laser Eye Ctrs.

Remzija Husic, 32, went to the TLC Laser Eye Center to undergo LASIK surgery performed by ophthalmologist David Schanzlin. The laser technician downloaded Husic’s purported treatment plan into the laser device before Schanzlin performed the procedure. Husic’s vision was severely blurred after the surgery, and her vision was still poor several days later. Schanzlin performed another laser surgery to correct Husic’s vision; however, her eyesight is still worse than it was before she underwent the initial procedure. She now requires customized contact lenses and eyeglasses.

Husic sued Schanzlin, his employer, and TLC. The plaintiff alleged that TLC’s technician had downloaded another patient’s treatment plan into the laser being used on Husic, resulting in the removal of about four times more corneal tissue than was intended. Suit also claimed that the defendants had failed to confirm that the laser was set up with the correct plan before performing Husic’s procedure. The plaintiff did not claim lost income.

Schanzlin and his employer settled before trial for $200,000. The jury awarded about $557,100 plus costs and interest, finding the surgeon 55 percent liable and the technician 45 percent responsible.

Citation: Husic v. TLC Laser Eye Ctrs., No. 37-2010-00094848-CU-MM-CTL (Cal., San Diego Co. Super. Jan. 18, 2013).

Plaintiff counsel: AAJ member Steven C. Vosseller, San Diego.

Plaintiff experts: Eli Ben-Moshe, optometry, San Diego; Paul Donzis, ophthalmology, Marina Del Ray, Calif.


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