Botched Cataract Surgery Wrecked Sight, Caregiver Claims
SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (CN) – An elderly woman claims Kaiser doctors damaged her cornea during a botched cataract removal surgery, in San Bernardino County Superior Court.
Jewell Havens sued Dr. Clarence Hamilton, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Kaiser Foundation Hospital-Ontario, and Southern California Permanente Medical Group.
Havens, 72, says she is a housewife and primary caretaker of her son and husband, who suffer from unspecified medical conditions.
She went to Kaiser in May 2015 for vision problems and Dr. Hamilton told her she needed a cataract removed from her left eye, which he said would “improve her vision to the point that she would not require wearing any eye glasses,” the complaint states.
Havens agreed to have the surgery, but when the operation was complete, Hamilton told her he had not been able to insert the lens and gave her some pain medicine until they could schedule a second date, according to the complaint.
About six weeks later, Havens says, she went back to Kaiser for the second surgery, which was successfully performed by Dr. Jime-Chung An Wang.
Wang is not a party to the complaint.
“Dr. Wang managed to insert a lens which is known as a bionic lens. Plaintiff was informed that certain areas around her cornea were damaged as during the previous surgery defendant Hamilton attempted to insert a lens which was the wrong size as it was two numbers larger than what could fit in her eye. Further, the wrong gel was applied which rather than helping her eye was absorbed by her body,” the complaint states.
Wang told her the new lens was not a permanent fix, but was the best they could do given the damage to her eye, according to the complaint.
Thanks to the botched surgery, Havens says, she basically lost vision in her left eye and has to wear “a dark sunglass” due to light sensitivity. Not only can she not read or distinguish shapes, she suffers from constant pain that makes it hard to sleep and she can no longer drive, she says.
Nor can she care for her family, who are reliant on her for their care, the complaint adds.
Had Hamilton applied the right lens, Havens says, her eye would be fine and she could live her life free from pain, disability, and social embarrassment “from not being able to socialize and even walk alone in public due to her eye sight problem.”
Havens sues for medical malpractice negligent hiring and retention, and negligent infliction of emotional distress, and is represented by Majid Safaie with the Arya Law Center of Costa Mesa.