Jonathan Herbert, specialist personal injury lawyer based at Thomson Snell & Passmore’s Tunbridge Wells and Dartford (Thames Gateway) offices, has secured £30,500 for a claimant who suffered permanent deterioration of vision in his right eye after optician fails to diagnose retinal detachment.
The claimant was a 42 year old man from Sheerness, Kent. He noticed that his vision was deteriorating, with blurring in his right eye, and so attended his local opticians (the defendants) to have his eyes tested. Tests were carried out and the claimant was informed he had central serous retinopathy (leakage of fluid under the retina). He was told he would be referred to the hospital regarding this.
Whilst he waited for his referral the claimant became concerned that his vision was deteriorating further, and so 10 days later he reattended the opticians. Despite complaining of the deterioration in his vision, the claimant was told there was no difference from the first examination, was reassured and sent away.
24 days after his initial opticians appointment the claimant was due to be seen at Sheppey Community Hospital. That morning he woke with seriously deteriorated vision. At the hospital he was diagnosed with macula interior retinal detachment and referred urgently to Maidstone Hospital. From there he was referred urgently to the Ophthalmology clinic at St Thomas’ Hospital, London.
Sadly, on examination at St Thomas’ he was found to have an extensive detachment. 28 days after his initial opticians review he underwent retinal detachment repair surgery, with a retinal explant and application of laser and cryotherapy.
On review 4½ months later he was found to have double vision and decreased visual acuity readings of 6/9.5.
It was noted that the injury prevents the claimant from reading properly and enjoying social activities.
It was argued by Jonathan Herbert that, had the defendant optician undertaken a proper assessment on the two appointments the claimant attended, the retinal detachment would have been diagnosed, leading to earlier referral and treatment and would have avoided the permanent impairment to the claimant’s vision.
The defendant accepted liability at an early stage after delivery of a letter of claim but denied that the delay resulted in any loss of vision. Despite that, Jonathan Herbert was able to negotiation a settlement of £30,500.
Jonathan Herbert specialises in eye related cases. If you would like to ask Jonathan a question about a potential case, or if you have a general query about any clinical negligence, contact Jonathan at Thomson Snell & Passmore solicitors on 01892 701226 in confidence.