Laser Eye Surgery Lawsuit Results in $2.1M Settlement

Carl Saiontz

By Carl Saiontz
Posted July 14, 2008


According to the New Jersey Star-Ledger, a prominent New Jersey laser eye surgeon has agreed to settle a medical malpractice lawsuit for $2 million after performing a corrective vision procedure on a man who should have been ruled out due to a pre-existing eye condition. Most people do not appreciate the risk of medical error associated with Lasik surgery. However, with over a million of the procedures performed each year, laser eye surgery malpractice does occur, and it can result in devastating vision problems.

The plaintiff in the recently settled laser eye surgery lawsuit was left legally blind after his Lasik procedure, with vision worse than 20/400 without corrective lenses. The lawsuit alleged that he was not properly screened before undergoing the eye surgery, as he had a condition known as “steep corneas”, which led to bulging of the corneas, known as corneal ectasia, in both eyes.

Lasik stands for “laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis”. During the eye surgery, a surgical instrument known as a microkeratome is used to cut through the top layers of the cornea to create a flap. A laser beam is used to reshape the cornea for vision correction and the corneal flap is replaced. Most eye surgeons have performed thousands of these procedures, but they often spend very little time with the patient evaluating whether they should be considered a candidate for the surgery.

Although marketing materials provided by doctors and the laser eye centers often highlight the safety of the procedures, they are still medical procedures which carries the risk of human error or neglect. Lasik complications are actually more common than advertising materials would lead you to believe.


Laser eye surgery lawsuits which are filed, often stem from carelessness during pre-surgery screening, incorrect operation of the equipment during the procedure or negligent post-operative follow up. The Lasik lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. review potential medical malpractice lawsuits throughout the United States for severe and permanent injuries associated with laser eye surgery.

If you, a friend or family member have suffered complete vision loss, or debilitating side effects from laser eye surgery, request a free consultation and claim evaluation.

8 Comments • Add Your Comments

  • James says:

    I had Lasik surgery in 2003 3 days after my surgery I lost a good portion of my vision in my right eye. I had an enhancment about 6 months later with a little improvment but after another year my right eye continued to get worse to a point i could not get a corrective lens to work and clear my vision up. I had conreal implants INTACS in 2006 with very little effect. In the past I have been a very active person in all outdoor sports golf hunting fishing and now I find myself not being able to enjoy these with my vision beign diminished.
    I dont; know if I can do anything but ifI don’t try I will never know. SOmeone somewhere has made a mistake and now I am paying for it.

    Posted on September 3, 2008 at 5:19 pm

  • Jeff says:

    I had lasik in 2005 and after the procedure I noticed a decrease in my right eyes prescription. My primary-care eye Doc recommended we waited to see if the eye would stabilize, not knowing that I had ectasia. Three years after the surgery I am finally told I have ectasia. I guess my question is why did they wait this long to tell me. the disease could have been further prevented if it was caught earlier. Not to mention they want me to get corneal collagen cross-linking with riboflavin, which is not a FDA approved procedure. The Lasik center offered to pay travel costs, etc., but not the procedure itself because they are publicly traded. I would also have to sign a release. Something sounds sketchy, and my vision is getting worse.

    Posted on October 7, 2008 at 11:54 am

  • Sam says:

    Beware if you are considering LASIK and you are near 40 years old.
    After you correct the far vision, you will *instantly* lose your near vision!!!

    After the surgery doctors will say this happens because your muscles are not as flexible
    as younger people. Well, its too late, isn’t it?

    So be ready to wear glasses to see near items.
    Remember you may need glasses to read labels on yiur shampoo bottle while you are in shower. Are you ready?
    Do you willing to wear glasses to do *all* your near work?

    Ask the doctor about this 25 times and try to get truth out of him before you say “yes” to LASIK.
    Otherwise just say NO to LASIK.

    Posted on July 5, 2009 at 5:36 am

  • Stephanie says:

    I work at a laser vision correction center and have been for years. Having said that I think patients who are interested in LASIK or any laser vision correction should really pay attention during their assessment. We tell patients everything they need to know and we repeat them multiple times through out their assessment. I find many times patients state that they were NEVER told something which in fact they were told numerous times. It is a lot of information to process especially for someone who is unfamiliar with it. Please make sure if you are interested in moving forward with laser vision correction you have done some research and that you are prepared with questions to ask your eye care professional at the time of your assessment. 70% of patients that come in have done no research prior and this is why we explain everything multiple times. This is a cosmetic procedure, you choose to be glasses free.

    Thank you.

    Posted on July 14, 2009 at 5:15 pm

  • Wendy says:

    I just had Lasik, and I am 43yrs old and I did not lose my near vision. It is fine. I have never been happier!

    Posted on July 24, 2009 at 5:26 pm

  • roger says:

    I recieved lasik and at the time I was told of some of the risks such as dry eye and the need for reading glasses etc. I ended up with dry eyes so everyday I do the drops, They also changed my dominent eye and now I have mono vision. I also have a problem with double vision especially at night and that is something I will never get used to. I am 52 yrs old now and 3 years and $4000 later I am in worse shape and very disapointed with the outcome. I would never do lasik again if I had the chance. Glasses are not as bad as what I put up with daily .

    Posted on December 4, 2010 at 11:07 am

  • Sarah says:

    In 1996 (age 16) my brother was diagnosed with Glaucoma. He has regularly seen an eye doctor for his glaucoma, tested regularly, and used drops for his glaucoma over all of these years. He was disqualified to join the army because of this diagnosis, placed on Social Security, and lived his life within many boundaries of this eye disease.
    Recently, a new method of technology was found to measure the cornia, and he has been “undiagnosed” with Glaucoma now. He lived for 14 years with all of these limits and restrictions, unable at times to get a suitable job and (my mother, because he usually couldn’t work) spent thousands of dollars on these eye drops that were supposed to help his glaucoma.
    I understand that he technology may not have been available, but because of this diagnosis, he lost all of these years. He should be entitled to something. He could have almost retired from the military by now. It took years for us (our family) to convince him to accept this fate and get on Social Security. For him, this was accepting defeat, but eventually he began living his life like he would be blind from the glaucoma any day.

    Posted on March 25, 2013 at 4:14 pm

  • Paul says:

    I had laser surgery on my right eye in 2001, which I was told it was gonna save my vision. At that time my vision was 20/20. A year after the surgery, my vision began leaving me. In February of 2003 I was totally blind. Is there such a case where I can sue for this type of situation? I am paying for their mistake!!!

    Posted on November 19, 2019 at 8:31 pm

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