Case Resolution Following Delayed Diagnosis of Retinal Detachment Leading to Vision Loss

Written by Mark Atlee

Atlee Hall recently resolved a case involving the delay in diagnosis of a retinal detachment, which resulted in a delayed surgical repair, causing substantial central vision loss in one eye.

Our client presented to his optometrist for an annual vision check and complained of a new-onset symptom of a “static arc” in the upper portion of the visual field of one eye. He was diagnosed with ocular migraines and instructed to follow-up if it got worse. His vision remained stable over the next several months, but after speaking to someone about her experiences with ocular migraines, he decided to seek a second opinion.

He was immediately diagnosed with a detached retina, which had been detached for several months in one eye and a partial detachment in the other eye. He was referred for emergency surgery by a retinal specialist. His one eye was successfully repaired; however, due to the delay in treatment on his other eye, he went on to suffer substantial loss of central vision in that eye. This loss of vision is permanent.

The lawyers at Atlee Hall were able to demonstrate that our client’s new-onset complaint, coupled with a decrease in visual acuity in one eye, should have raised suspicion of a retinal detachment, which warranted referral to a specialist for evaluation. Had the proper course of treatment been provided promptly, our client would not have suffered the loss of vision. Atlee Hall was able to present evidence, through expert medical evaluations and illustrations, that recreated the client’s actual vision loss so that the defense could see the seriousness of the impairment.