Lasik Patient Gets Record Making Settlement For Losing Eye Sight

New Jersey has witnessed the record making Lasik lawsuit settlement yesterday. A Bedminster man who has alleged he was left legally blind by Lasik surgery reached a $2.1 million settlement with the prominent eye surgeon who performed the procedure. The patient James Dell'Ermo, (47) had David Mazie of Mazie Slater Katz & Freeman as his attorney.

In a statement last night, the attorney Mazie said his client underwent Lasik surgery in the Bergenfield office of Joseph Dello Russo, an eye surgeon known partly for his advertising campaign and promotions. But the procedure left Dell'Ermo legally blind, with vision worse than 20/400 without corrective lenses. Dell'Ermo filed a malpractice lawsuit in Bergen County Superior Court and a settlement was made public yesterday.

On the other hand, the attorney for the accused Dello Russo, John Tomaszewski, said the settlement does not mean an admission of fault. Tomaszewski called Dello Russo a pioneer in Lasik technique, a surgeon who has performed tens of thousands of procedures with expert results.

During Lasik — which stands for laser-assisted in situ keratomi leusis — surgery, doctors cut a flap off the top of the cornea with a blade called a microkeratome. Surgeons use a laser to reshape the cornea, then return the flap. The lawyers of the patient says in his case, the condition of steep corneas should have ruled him out as a candidate for Lasik. He said the procedure caused a condition known as ec stasia, or bulging of the cornea, in both of Dell'Ermo's eyes. However, Tomaszeski insisted Dell'Ermo was properly screened.

"It's Dr. Dello Russo's position that the medical testing and work- up performed at New Jersey Eye Center revealed (Dell'Ermo) to be an appropriate surgical candidate."

Source:The Star Ledger

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