Mark Petraske continued his jury win streak with his 7th defense jury verdict in a row following a 6 day jury trial.
In Camp v. Scimeca, plaintiff alleged the defendant physician deviated from accepted standards in failing to diagnose and treat glaucoma in the plaintiff’s left eye, resulting in permanent loss of vision. Plaintiff, an avid reader and author, had presented to the defendant ophthalmologist with complaints of loss of peripheral vision and was found to have elevated intraocular pressure. Defendant physician prescribed medication to increase the outflow of the fluid within the eye (aqueous humor) to reduce the pressure, which initially was effective, but the patient was not able to tolerate the medication. The patient then underwent two laser procedures to reduce the intraocular pressure, which also was initially effective, but the pressure ultimately crept back up. The patient went to another eye surgeon and underwent a shunt procedure, the placement of a tube directly into the eye to drain the fluid to reduce the patient’s intraocular pressure, but the patient nevertheless lost 90% of her peripheral vision in her left eye. Plaintiff’s expert opined that defendant physician should have performed the shunt procedure much earlier and that had he done so plaintiff would not have lost her eyesight. The defense demonstrated that the doctor maintained intraocular pressure below the 30 mm Hg threshold that damages the optic nerve, a standard with which the plaintiff’s expert agreed. Using literature supplied by plaintiff’s expert, the defense demonstrated that it would have been inappropriate to do the shunt procedure until it was clear that the less risky and less invasive treatments of medication therapy and laser therapy were not working. The jury returned a unanimous verdict that the defendant was not negligent in his treatment.