Patient sues eye doctor for vision loss

By Zak Ritchie | Mar 9, 2006

BUCKHANNON – A man from Upshur County has filed a lawsuit against his eye doctor for allegedly causing loss of vision after the doctor completed a procedure without first receiving the informed consent of the plaintiff.

In a suit filed March 3 in Upshur Circuit Court, Ernest Gotinsky claims he never offered informed consent to Dr. Jerry N. Black to perform an astigmatic keratotomy. The plaintiff went in for the surgery on Jan. 13, 2004, but claims it was for a cataract removal procedure only. Further consultations with other doctors have allegedly revealed that the plaintiff may have suffered a permanent decrease in visual acuity, proximately caused by the astigmatic keratotomy performed by Black.

On count one of the claim, Gotinsky contends Black had a legal duty to obtain informed consent prior to the surgery, but did not. The plaintiff also claims Black did not inform him of the very procedure and risks involved in the astigmatic keratotomy. Because of the alleged negligence of the defendant, Gotinsky asserts he now suffers from a loss of visual acuity and seeks compensation.

Another count in the plaintiff's suit claims a civil conspiracy existed between Jerry N. Black, M.D. and the Buckhannon Eye Center. The plaintiff asserts that the Black conspired with the Buckhannon Eye Center in order to "cover up" the supposed medical mistake. The plaintiff states that requests for his medical records were met with limited success and alleges that the limited response is based on the fear of the financial loss on the part of the defendants.

The plaintiff is requesting unspecified punitive and compensatory damages, including expenses for other medical attention, attorney fees and costs, as well as for suffering pain, inconvenience, and mental anguish. He seeks a jury trial.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Thomas H. Keadle.

Upshur Circuit Court case number: 06-C-32

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