A judge at the Central London County Court has awarded a woman £567,287 in settlement of her claim for negligent laser eye surgery after finding that there was a lack of informed consent.
Stephanie Holloway (28) from Gosport in Hampshire brought her claim for negligent laser eye surgery after undergoing a procedure to improve her short-sightedness compensation at the Southampton branch of Optical Express in September 2008.
Stephanie had hoped that laser eye surgery would improve chances of being accepted for the police force, but the procedure left Stephanie suffering from photophobia – an intolerance of bright lights – and she now has to wear sunglasses permanently when she goes out of her candle-lit home.
Stephanie also developed depression and a fear of going blind after the failed procedure and despite subsequent consultations with optical experts her condition has not improved. After seeking legal advice, she made a claim for negligent laser eye surgery against Optical Express and the surgeon who conducted her procedure – Dr Joanna McGraw.
In her claim for negligent laser eye surgery, Stephanie alleged that she had not been advised of the potential risks of the procedure – an allegation refuted by Optical Express and Dr McGraw, who insisted that Stephanie had been advised hers was a very difficult case which could have a negative result.
At the Central London County Court, Judge Edward Bailey heard that Dr McGraw´s first consultation with Stephanie had lasted only three to four minutes, and that Stephanie had been pressed to sign a consent form just seven minutes before the procedure to correct her short-sightedness commenced.
The judge said that giving a patient a consent form to sign seven minutes before a procedure “is not how things should be done”, and he ruled that Stephanie had been given insufficient information about the risks attached to the procedure for her to give her informed consent.
Judge Bailey added that the lack of information Stephanie received was “a material breach in Optical Express´s duty of care” and that being pressed to sign a consent form immediately before a procedure went against the Royal College of Ophthalmologist´s guidelines that a patient should be given a consent form at least twenty-four hours in advance.
Stephanie was awarded £569,287 compensation by the judge in settlement of her claim for negligent eye surgery – which included more than £400,000 to account for Stephanie´s loss of earnings after her book dealing business collapsed due to her being unable to read small print.Read More