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Every parent wants the best for their baby. So, when Diane and Ben* grew concerned and noticed their 20-month old was having trouble seeing, they wanted to see help. But with this being their first child, they thought they might be over reacting. But as he grew and started becoming more active, they realized he couldn’t look up without raising his whole head.
They weren’t sure if this was something to worry about, but they wanted to make sure they didn’t miss any potential problems with his development. They decided to take him to a local pediatric ophthalmologist just to be sure.
The doctor examined him and in just one visit recommended surgery. Diane and Ben* were somewhat skeptical of this immediate diagnosis, but the doctor was so confident they felt it must be the right decision. She assured them repeatedly that their son’s condition was an easy fix, so they went ahead with the surgery. But when their son’s condition did not improve, they were disappointed and upset.
The doctor insisted their baby needed another surgery, but even after a second surgical procedure their baby still couldn’t see correctly. Diane and Ben were devastated. They only wanted the absolute best for their little boy and now he was suffering.
They knew they had to get him to another pediatric ophthalmologist to see what went wrong. The second doctor who saw him told them the news they dreaded. Their precious baby should not have been operated on without at least twelve months of consistent monitoring and then only if the condition had significantly deteriorated. This physician told them that these conditions often resolve on their own, but now their son’s deteriorated condition was permanent. Diane and Ben* could not believe what they were hearing. They had trusted the original physician. How could they have been betrayed like this? They did not know where to turn.
Diane and Ben* sought help with the medical malpractice team at Coker Law. From the start this was a case that hit home for Coker Law attorney Lindsay Tygart. “As the mom of two girls, this case was special to me,” said Tygart. “Their son is the same age as my oldest daughter. I would have done exactly what Diane did for her baby. That made this case very personal to me.” Tygart and the medical malpractice team at Coker Law were able to prove that the pediatric ophthalmologist had made inappropriate treatment decisions for their baby’s condition. The team worked diligently to ensure that the medical needs and any future impairment of the couple’s son was provided for by the doctor who jumped the gun and rushed into surgery.
“All parents want the absolute best for their children and they trusted this doctor,” said Tygart. “Unfortunately, this doctor lead them down the wrong path to treatment and their baby ended up paying the permanent price for that.” Coker Law achieved the best result possible, under the law for this family.
Case Title: A Minor vs. Jacksonville Beach Pediatric Ophthalmologist
Attorneys/Staff involved in Case: Lindsay Tygart, Esq. and Heather Brown, Paralegal
Date of Settlement: June 19, 2018
Amount of Settlement: Confidential
*The names have been changed to protect the family’s privacy