Failed cornea transplant. The Doctor delayed for ten weeks even though symptoms of failure also did not follow closely post op

Asked 11 months ago - Katy, TX

finally did cell count and it was zero so then scheduled re transplant and the infection huge showed up in two weeks. He did not follow closely after post surg ck up, gave a two week appointment by then huge infection and no sight in new cornea. I feel this was very negligent and I am dealing with massive infection and severe /painful photophobia since November confined to home and hoping infections heal . And, yes changing Doctor but that is another problem as they have to try to fix a mess and are trying to not be critical. This us a nightmare. Do I have grounds to sue for negligence in waiting so long and not keeping closer watch on my cornea post op?

Attorney answers (5)

  1. Marc Edward Stewart

    Contributor Level 16

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    Answered . You would have a tough case. There are issues with the medicine and then also legal issues. On the medicine, any medical negligence case involving infection are hard to win. The reason is that infections occur commonly and are never attributable to poor care; it's a natural, unavoidable complication of medical care. As far as delaying in the diagnosis of the infection once it began, that angle is hard in a different way. A plaintiff is tasked with proving that an earlier diagnosis (and treatment) would have altered their outcome in a substantial way. Infections are sometimes difficult to successfully "cure" in modern medicine. Also, eyes are small and notoriously delicate once infection starts.

    On the legal issues, your biggest problem is that you're in Texas. Your friends in the Texas legislature (particularly the state rep and senator from Katy, TX) are fans of malpractice tort reform laws. Nowdays, Texas malpractice victims have a hard time just finding an attorney because the cases are so difficult to win. The laws are stacked against you. Yes, some cases are still actionable. But only a narrow slice of malpractice events can be economically pursued. Those usually involve cases wherein lots of economic injury (loss of wage, medical bills, etc) are stacked up high into the tens of thousands (at least). Pain from an injured eye...that is called "pain & suffering" and is minimized under the laws. Loss of sight in one eye is called "physical impairment," which is also minimized as far as damages. If you find this frustrating, vote differently. Elections matter.

  2. Daragh John Carter

    Contributor Level 15

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    Answered . The challenge with medical malpractice claims in Texas is that the legislature has placed a cap on the amount of non-economic damages a person can recover. "Non-economic damages" means pain and suffering. The maximum amount a person suing a health care provider can recover for non-economic damages is $250,000. Unless you have a significant claim for future lost income or future medical expenses (those are not capped), your case may be difficult for an attorney to make work financially. Medical malpractice lawsuits are often time-consuming and expensive to bring, because the attorney filing the suit has to have a suitably qualified expert review the client's medical records, write a report, give testimony, etcetera. It is not unusual for an attorney to invest $50,000 or more in case expenses in developing a medical malpractice suit. But if the potential recovery is primarily for pain and suffering damages, which are capped at $250,000, the investment of time and money relative to the potential recovery may make it hard to bring a lot of cases.

    None of the above may apply to your case, but I think it will be helpful to understand why it is often hard for people to find a Texas medical malpractice attorney to take their case.

  3. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . A local malpractice lawyer can order your records to investigate. Avvo has a great "find a lawyer" tool to locate a top-rated Avvo attorney (10) with a low contingency fee, less than thirty percent, so you don't get hurt twice. Good luck.

  4. David Ian Schoen

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . Consult with a medical malpractice attorney ASAP.

    In seeking an attorney on this site, beware of limiting your search to attorneys with a 10 rating, and carefully... more
  5. John L. Schroeder

    Contributor Level 18

    Answered . Sure you could file a malpractice case but there are not enough details her to make that determination. You need to meet with an attorney to discuss your options, but consider this. In order to proceed you need another doctor to review all of the records, perform an examination and be willing to opine that your doctor deviated from the standard of care and that deviation caused you an injury. That becomes very costly so your attorney will have to make the determination if the injury value of your case is sufficient enough to make it economically feasible to proceed.

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