Man sues eye doctor, Marshall for negligence

By Kyla Asbury | Mar 23, 2015

HUNTINGTON – A man is suing Marshall University Board of Governors and a physician he claims was negligent in caring for his eye problem.


HUNTINGTON – A man is suing Marshall University Board of Governors and a physician he claims was negligent in caring for his eye problem.


On April 28, Dr. Russell V. Fry II accepted Chalmer Elkins as a paying patient for treatment of a pterygium of his right eye, according to a complaint filed March 10 in Cabell Circuit Court.


Elkins claims at the time of his employment, he complained of redness of his right eye and a foreign body sensation and Fry determined Elkins had 20/20-2 vision in each eye.


Fry determined that Elkins had an inflamed pterygium of his right eye and prescribed Maxitrol for both eyes and instructed him to return in one week for further evaluation, according to the suit.


Elkins claims on May 5, he returned to Fry for a second evaluation as instructed and complained to Fry that his condition had not improved since the previous visit and that he was experiencing mild pain in addition to the foreign body sensation and redness. Fry recommended excision of the pterygium of Elkins' right eye and the surgery was scheduled for May 27.


On May 28, Fry performed a one-day post-operative examination of Elkins' right eye and his vision in his right eye was 40/25 and Elkins continued to complain of pain, watering and a foreign body sensation, according to the suit.


Elkins claims Fry prescribed Maxitrol again and told him to come back in two weeks, or as needed.


On June 5, Elkins returned with complaints of a throbbing pain, as well as a burning sensation in his eye and Fry's examination revealed a 2+ microcystic edema of his eye, extensive ocular inflammation and thinning of his right cornea in the area where Fry removed the pterygium, according to the suit. Fry discontinued Maxitrol and ordered Lotemax for Elkins' right eye.


Elkins claims on June 8, he returned to Fry's office with persistent pain, descreased vision and excessive drainage in his eye and Fry noted the presence of a corneal perforation at the site where the cornea was thinning and advised him to travel to The Ohio State University emergency department for further treatment.


On arrival at OSU, Elkins was found to have a large corneal melt with uveal prolapse near the limbus of his right eye and Dr. Rebecca Kuennen at OSU performed a repair of the ruptured globe of Elkins' right eye with amniotic membrane and corneal patch graft, according to the suit.


Elkins claims the defendants were negligent and caused him injuries.


Elkins is seeking compensatory damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. He is being represented by Debra A. Nelson of the Nelson Law Firm LLC.


The case is assigned to Circuit Judge F. Jane Hustead.


Cabell Circuit Court case number: 15-C-167

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