Doctor, Practice To Pay $3.9 Million in Suit Over Eye Damage During Surgery
A doctor and his practice agreed last Monday to pay $3.9 million to a patient whose eye was damaged during sinus surgery, according to the plaintiff’s lawyer in the Passaic County suit, Plaintiff [Name Redacted] v. Sreepada.
Dr. Gangadhar Sreepada of the White Plains, N.Y., office of ENT and Allergy Associates was performing endoscopic surgery to clean out a sinus with a camera-guided instrument at Chilton Hospital in Pompton Plains on April 25, 2006, when the instrument strayed into the right eye orbit of the patient, says the plaintiff’s lawyer, Adam Slater of Mazie Slater Katz & Freeman in Roseland.
The plaintiff suffered muscle damage, underwent four surgical repairs and, now 48, still suffers from disfigurement, blurred vision, dizziness and pain, which ended her nursing career, Slater says.
Insurers for the doctor and the practice agreed to pay $1 million each. And in an unusual agreement, the 100-doctor, 32-office practice paid an additional $1.9 million from its own funds, Slater says.
The defense argued that what happened during the surgery is a known risk for such procedures. But given the plaintiff’s disfigurement and potential economic loss, settlement was a prudent business decision, says medical practice counsel Neil Reiseman of Reiseman Rosenberg & Pfund in Morris Plains.
Another lawyer for the practice, Robert Evers of Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin in Roseland, declined comment. The doctor’s lawyer, Lauren O’Neill of Post Polak Goodsell MacNeill & Strauchler in Roseland, did not return a call.
— By Henry Gottlieb
Reprinted with permission from the February 8, 2010 edition of the New Jersey Law Journal© 2015 ALM Media Properties. LLC All rights reserved. Further duplication without permission is prohibited.
Click here to view the original article.