$678,000 Verdict for Unnecessary Cataract Surgery; Perkins v. Dr. Khan

The defendant ophthalmologist, Seemin Khan, M.D., performed cataract surgery on the plaintiff, Frances Perkins, on March 19, 2008. It was discovered after the surgery that Perkins had a chronic detached retina. The retina is the light-sensitive tissue that lines the inner surface of the eye. The optics of the eye create an image on the retina, like the film in a camera.

The plaintiff alleged that Dr. Khan was negligent for choosing not to refer her for a B-scan ocular ultrasound or to a retinal specialist before deciding whether cataract surgery would be in her best interest. Since Perkins was not a good candidate for retinal surgery, the cataract surgery was found, or alleged to be, unnecessary.

Perkins, 59, suffered ongoing chronic pain following the cataract surgery, underwent three later retinal surgeries and still has chronic left eye pain.

Dr. Khan argued that the cataract surgery was necessary to repair a detached retina or for any retinal surgery. The jury disagreed with Dr. Khan’s assessment. After considering the evidence, the jury found in favor of Perkins, and its verdict of $678,483 was made up of the following damages:

  • $78,483 for past medical expenses;
  • $60,000 for future medical expenses;
  • $175,000 for past pain and suffering;
  • $140,000 for future pain and suffering;
  • $100,000 for past loss of normal life;
  • $125,000 for future loss of normal life.

Before the trial, a demand to settle the case was made at $100,000. The jury was asked to return a verdict of $838,483. The defendant, Dr. Khan, made no offer to settle the case.

The attorney for Frances Perkins was Mark C. Murnane.

Frances M. Perkins v. Dr. Seemin Khan, 10 L 2837 (Cook County).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling medical negligence cases for individuals and families for more than 37 years, in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Hoffman Estates, Northbrook, University Park, Chicago (Pilsen), Elmhurst, Chicago (Englewood), Worth, Alsip, South Holland, Blue Island, Deerfield and Midlothian, Ill.

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