Exposing the LASIK Scam

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 Post subject: $3 million judgment in pupil size case
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2006 11:56 am 
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http://www.duluthsuperior.com/mld/dulut ... 323001.htm

Jury awards man $3 million


MALPRACTICE: The man had sued Northern Refractive Surgery Center for
the care and treatment he received.


BY MARK STODGHILL


NEWS TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER


A St. Louis County jury determined that Northern Refractive Surgery
Center was negligent in its care and treatment of a Duluth man and
awarded him more than $3 million in damages.


The verdict reached Thursday night is believed to be the largest jury
monetary award in Duluth history.


Lowell Larson, 34, manager of technical services at the College of St.
Scholastica, brought the malpractice lawsuit against Dr. Jeffrey R.
Weis and Northern Refractive Surgery Center of Hermantown last July.


Larson alleged that the defendants were negligent in his care and
treatment by:


? Failing to properly measure the size of his pupils before
performing LASIK surgery on Jan. 4, 2001.


? Failing to properly screen him from LASIK eye surgery because of
his larger-than-average pupils.


? Failing to properly advise Larson in a meaningful way of the risks
associated with LASIK eye surgery, given his pupil size.


Larson claimed that as a direct result of negligent care and treatment
he sustained "significant and permanent disturbances in his vision,
particularly at night."


In LASIK surgery, precise and controlled removal of corneal tissue by a
special laser reshapes the cornea, changing its focusing power. It is
intended to reduce a person's dependency on correctional lenses.


The eight-member jury determined that Northern Refractive Surgery
failed to inform Larson about the risks involved in LASIK surgery,
about alternatives to the LASIK procedure, and that the failure was a
direct cause of harm or injury to the plaintiff.


Jurors also found that Larson was negligent with regard to his own care
and treatment, but that negligence was not a direct cause of harm or
injury to himself.


The total jury award is $3,002,950.


The 10th and final question on the special verdict form asked jurors
how much money would fairly and adequately compensate Larson for future
pain, disability, embarrassment and emotional distress reasonably
certain to occur in the future directly caused by the LASIK surgery.


Jury foreman Steffan M. Johnson wrote in the figure "$2,687,500 or
$62,500 a year for 43 years." Johnson couldn't be reached for comment
Tuesday.


Jurors determined that $312,500 would compensate Larson for pain,
disability, embarrassment and emotional distress up to the time of
trial and $2,950 for medical expenses up to the time of trial.


Larson was represented by Minneapolis attorney Michael A. Zimmer.
Zimmer said the eye surgery hasn't adversely affected his client's
professional career.


"There was no wage loss, no significant medical expense," Zimmer said
during a phone interview Tuesday evening. "It was a quality of life
issue. When it gets dark, his world changes from ours. When it's dark
and his pupils are fully dilated, he sees starbursts, halos. On a dark
road when a vehicle approaches him, the oncoming lights become
virtually blinding for him.... He knows it and he avoids driving at
night."


Zimmer said it was "a nice verdict" considering that Duluth-area jurors
are known around the state as being conservative with their monetary
awards, he said.


"It was good to see the jury look beyond wage loss and those types of
things and looked for what it is like for somebody 34 years old and has
a life expectancy of 43 (more) years and has to live like this with
apparently nothing you can do about it," Zimmer said.


Larson declined comment Tuesday night.


Duluth attorney Eric Hylden represented the defendants.


"While we have great respect for the jury system, this verdict is
deeply disappointing," Hylden said Tuesday. "The surgeons at Northern
Refractive Surgery Center are experienced, careful and have improved
the vision of thousands of patients. Northern Refractive will pursue
all possible avenues for relief from this verdict, and believe we will
be successful in that pursuit."


Hylden declined to comment on what he sees as possible appealable
issues.


MARK STODGHILL reports on legal affairs and public safety. He can be
reached weekdays at (218) 723-5333 or by e-mail at
mstodgh...@duluthnews.com.

_________________
Broken Eyes

"The price good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." Plato


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2006 7:49 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2006 10:58 pm
Posts: 130
Financial penalty is good but I think jail time is a better deterrent to prevent these licensed criminals from repeating the same crude act on potential victims.


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