A South Florida medical malpractice lawsuit against an eye doctor has been revived by Florida’s 2nd District Court of Appeal.
Although ophthalmologists aren’t the most commonly-named defendants in Florida medical malpractice cases, eye doctor malpractice can result in serious, disabling injuries. Those impacted can seek financial compensation.
Examples of Florida eye doctor malpractice that can lead to substantial patient injuries (and would be grounds for civil litigation):
- Not completing and reviewing the patient’s full medical history.
- Failure to properly conduct an eye exam.
- Misdiagnosing an eye condition or missing an eye problem entirely.
- Careless errors during eye surgery.
- Using tools that aren’t properly cleaned and sterilized, resulting in preventable infections.
- Failure to seek and obtain adequate informed consent from patients.
- Prescribing a patient the wrong medication or improper dosage.
In the recent Florida eye doctor medical malpractice lawsuit of Martinez v. Perez Ortiz, the complainant alleges the ophthalmologist misdiagnosed her condition and failed to properly treat it in a timely manner, resulting in permanent eye damage and vision problems.
Specifically according to court documents, the plaintiff underwent surgery for nasal polyps. After the procedure, she complained to the doctor about swelling and pressure behind and around one eye. The issue wasn’t properly identified or treated. Now, she’s seeking recompense for the harm done.
Importance of Expert Testimony in Florida Medical Malpractice Cases
As our Palm Beach medical malpractice lawyers can explain, the testimony of an expert medical witness is key to even getting these cases off the ground.
As noted in F.S. 766.202, a similarly educated and experienced medical professional must testify that the defendant breached the prevailing standard of care for someone of their skill and resources. The plaintiff has to prove that the defendant breached a standard of care that a reasonably prudent health care provider in the same or similar circumstance would. The expert witness must conduct a complete review of relevant medical records, and they also need to be someone who specializes in the same specialty as the defendant health care provider. For instance, an orthopedic specialist wouldn’t testify as the expert medical witness in a Florida medical malpractice case against a heart surgeon.
That said, it’s not uncommon for medical malpractice defense lawyers to try to undermine the plaintiff’s expert witness – even when the differences aren’t as obvious.
Florida Eye Doctor Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Will Proceed
In the pending Florida eye doctor medical malpractice lawsuit, the trial court granted summary judgment on the grounds that the plaintiff’s expert witness did not operate in the exact same specialty as the defense. But according to a three-judge panel with the appellate court, the trial court “split hairs” in reaching that conclusion. The appellate court reversed the lower court’s ruling and remanded the case back to the trial court to continue.
Specifically, plaintiff’s expert witness is a board-certified ophthalmologist – just like the defendant – though he had also completed a fellowship in neuro-ophthalmology.
The appellate court held that the fact of his fellowship didn’t render him unqualified to testify about the actions of another board-certified ophthalmologist.
Attorneys for the defense argued that the case should alternatively be dismissed because the initial notice of intent to sue lacked written, sworn medical corroboration when it was first sent. Appellate justices ruled this deficiency was cured when plaintiff submitted the expert witness affidavit prior to the expiration of the statute of limitations.
Contact the South Florida personal injury attorneys at Halberg & Fogg PLLC by calling toll-free at 1-877-425-2374. Serving West Palm Beach, Miami, Tampa, Orlando and Fort Myers/ Naples. There is no fee unless you win.
Martinez v. Perez Ortiz, Sept. 23, 2022, Florida’s 2nd District Court of Appeal
More Blog Entries:
Expert Witness Testimony is Essential in Florida Medical Malpractice Claims, Sept. 20, 2021, Palm Beach Medical Malpractice Lawyer Blog