New York appeals court upholds $1.2M verdict against eye surgeon

A New York appeals court upheld a $1.2 million verdict against an eye surgeon after his patient went blind, Medscape reported March 29.

Edwin Schottenstein, MD, performed a cataract removal and lens replacement surgery on a patient in 2013, the report said. It was his second procedure with the patient.

During the procedure, a piece of the patient's lens dropped through a tear in the capsular bag and into the back of her eye, the report said. Afterward, Dr. Schottenstein injected a replacement lens, but it was off center and moved toward the back.

He removed it with forceps, pulling it through the same incision from before, which was less than half the diameter of the replacement lens, the report said. Because it was New Year's Eve, Dr. Schottenstein didn't seek assistance from a vitreoretinal surgeon until two days later.

A malpractice trial was held in November 2019, and the jury awarded the patient $1.2 million. Dr. Schottenstein appealed, but New York's Supreme Court Appellate Division of the 1st Judicial Department affirmed the original decision on March 1.

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