Ophthalmologist, surgery center pay $500K to settle malpractice case

Ophthalmologist Milton Kahn, MD, and the surgery center where he practices settled a patient's medical malpractice lawsuit for $500,000, and the case was dismissed May 6, according to the New Jersey Law Journal.

Dr. Khan performed cataract surgery on the patient, Barbara Simicevic, in 2016. Five weeks after the operation, Ms. Simicevic returned for an emergency appointment at Advanced Eye Care and Surgery Center in Westfield, N.J., said an attorney for the 70-year-old woman.

Ms. Simicevic, who was experiencing tearing, blurry vision, floaters and the sensation of a foreign body in her eye, was diagnosed by Dr. Khan with corneal edema. Dr. Khan prescribed topical anti-inflammatory medications.

However, Ms. Simicevic's condition worsened after the visit, and she saw another physician who diagnosed her with endophthalmitis, a bacterial infection.

The patient filed a lawsuit against Dr. Khan and Advanced Eye Care in March 2018, alleging medical malpractice on the grounds that Dr. Khan had an obligation to perform a more thorough examination during her emergency visit.

Dr. Khan would have discovered the infection and given Ms. Simicevic the chance to start treatment sooner if he had conducted ultrasound imaging, her attorneys said. They argued that the infection warranted immediate attention.

Dr. Khan's defense countered that Ms. Simicevic's infection was extremely rare and would have affected the patient's vision regardless of when it was discovered. The defense said Dr. Khan acted within the standard of care for such a rare condition, and that he therefore was not at fault.

The settlement was reached after ophthalmologist Kenneth Kenyon, MD, testified that timeliness is important in diagnosing eye infections and that a two-day delay was long. The case was settled before going to trial.

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