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Robert F. Parker, Burke Costanza & Carberry LLP, Merrillville, IN, successfully defended a medical malpractice claim against an ophthalmologist in Elkhart County, IN. The claim concerned an allegation of failure to timely diagnose and treat acute retinal necrosis, an extremely rare and devastating eye disease that cost the young female plaintiff her sight in one eye. The week long trial ended in a unanimous defense verdict.

Acute retinal necrosis is an infection of the eye caused, in this case, by the herpes simplex-2 virus. It’s an extremely rare disease. A general ophthalmologist might see one of these cases in his entire career. This case was made even more interesting by the fact that the patient experienced a very unusual presentation of this already rare disease: the primary involvement was with the optic nerve, rather than the retina. This meant the diagnosis was even more difficult than usual, and the prognosis more grim. The young female plaintiff, who was 8 ½ months pregnant at the time of trial, experienced a complete loss of vision in one eye despite aggressive antiviral therapy, laser barricade to attempt to prevent retinal detachment, and then a scleral buckle to attempt to remedy the subsequent retinal detachment. She also required cosmetic surgery to remedy a drooping eyelid. She will be on antiviral medication the rest of her life to protect her other eye. Experts from New Jersey, Arizona, Texas, California, Illinois and Indiana testified in the case, and included general ophthalmologists, neuro-ophthalmologists, vitreoretinal surgeons, and optometrists.

Congratulations, Robert!

Do you have a triumph to share? Send a brief summary and a recent photograph to David Fuqua at dfuqua@fc-lawyers.com


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