“Mr. Baron and Mr. Zeuthen are lawyers who leave no stone unturned when it comes to representing their clients. They went toe-to-toe with all of the medical specialists that were against us because they were incredibly knowledgeable about the eye and my condition.”
Debbi Warren always had good 20/20 vision, but as she aged, she developed presbyopia—a condition in which the natural lens of the eye loses its ability to focus for near vision. She used reading glasses bought off the shelf for reading, but they were always getting lost.
False promises of improved vision; disastrous results
She heard that Dr. Paul Imperia, a Medford ophthalmologist, promised surgical procedures were available to eliminate or reduce the need for glasses. She saw Dr. Imperia, who recommended monovision—a vision system in which one eye is purposely made nearsighted for near vision tasks while the other eye is left alone for distance vision tasks, like driving. His office gave Mrs. Warren a minimal test to see if she was a good candidate, which she passed. However, Mrs. Warren was concerned. She had tried unsuccessfully to adapt to monovision a couple of years previously. A local optometrist gave her a contact lens to wear in her left eye to make it nearsighted. Mrs. Warren wore the contact lens for two weeks but could not get used to the imbalance in the vision between her two eyes. She gave up the attempt, as she suffered from nausea, headaches, and lack of depth perception. When Dr. Imperia told her that monovision was the answer to her needs, she told him that she failed a contact lens monovision test two years previously. Dr. Imperial had his hand on the door, as he responded quickly that she need not worry about her earlier contact lens test. Trusting Dr. Imperia, Mrs. Warren went ahead with the recommended procedure.
The results were disastrous. Mrs. Warren experienced the same problems she had with the contact lenses. She struggled for months to function and eventually a second surgery was performed, which was helpful, but which did not eliminate all of her vision-related problems. Mrs. Warren does not favor lawsuits, especially suits against doctors, but she felt that Dr. Imperial should have taken the time to consider better her concerns.
Trial and case results
At a week-long trial in August 2009, evidence was introduced that a person failing a contact lens test for monovision is not a good candidate for monovision. Mrs. Warren argued that only if only Dr. Imperia stopped to consider carefully her concerns, he likely would have recommended against monovision. At a minimum, he should have repeated a contact lens test. In the end, a jury agreed with Mrs. Warren that Dr. Imperia was negligent, finding in her favor and awarding her both non-economic and economic damages.
Debbi Warren: “Mr. Baron and Mr. Zeuthen are lawyers who leave no stone unturned when it comes to representing their clients. They went toe-to-toe with all of the medical specialists that were against us because they were incredibly knowledgeable about the eye and my condition. They are professional, they keep in close contact with their clients, they have impeccable integrity, and they are GOOD! Most of all, they care about their clients as individuals, not just another case. Thank you so much for all of the hard work you did on my behalf.”
UPDATE: On September 12, 2012, the Oregon Court of Appeals upheld the jury’s award in Debbie Warren’s case. Read more.