As I was dealing with a life changing diagnosis it was really important to find a solicitor who could take the stress out of the process. From the start Kingsley Napley were extremely helpful, friendly and professional.
Richard Lodge and Eurydice Cote acted for a Claimant in connection with a visual impairment claim against Specsavers arising from the delayed diagnosis of glaucoma. The claim concerned the treatment and advice given by an optometrist during a routine eye test.
During the eye test the optometrist attempted to measure the Claimant’s intraocular pressures three or four times using an air-puff tonometer without success. The optometrist was unable to record any measurements in the Claimant’s notes.
The optometrist recorded “deep cupping” in the Claimant’s optic nerves on both sides but this finding was not communicated to the Claimant either verbally on the day of the eye test or subsequently in writing. The Claimant was advised that his eyes were fine and was given a new prescription for short sightedness.
A year later the Claimant started to notice problems with his peripheral vision. He was bumping into people or clipping the curb when running. He was assessed by a Consultant Ophthalmologist who diagnosed glaucoma with Pigment Dispersion Syndrome.
Notwithstanding laser surgery in an attempt to correct the Claimant’s vision he was left with mild, progressive deterioration in each eye. Visual field tests indicated that a number of stimulus points were missed in the area of vision stipulated by the DVLA required to obtain a Group 1 (car and motorcycle) driving licence. As a result of this deterioration in his vision, the Claimant had to forfeit his driving licence. The Claimant’s estimated binocular vision was 47-48%. He also had a 5-10% chance of developing functional blindness during his lifetime.
The issue between the parties was a factual one: whether the optometrist during the routine eye test attempted to measure intraocular pressures using the air puff tonometer. The Defendant denied this test was performed but accepted that if the test had been performed, and the failure to obtain an accurate reading was not recorded within the medical records, then this would constitute a breach of duty.
The parties successfully agreed a six figure settlement which compensated the Claimant for his loss of vision, future care and equipment needs and a sum to compensate him for his disadvantage on the labour market should he lose his current job.
Reflecting upon the litigation our client states:
When I found out I had Glaucoma I thought there may be grounds for compensation as my optician had failed to measure my eye pressure at a recent check-up. As I was dealing with a life changing diagnosis it was really important to find a solicitor who could take the stress out of the process. From the start Kingsley Napley were extremely helpful, friendly and professional. In particular they highlighted the potential long-term financial costs of my condition, which I had completely underestimated. This reassured me that I was justified in seeking compensation. Throughout the claim they described the legal process in simple terms and kept me informed of all the risks and mitigations. Ultimately, we were successful in agreeing a settlement that provides me with an essential safety net should my condition deteriorate. It's a relief to know there is money available to cover the costs of future surgery, adaptations to my home and loss of earnings.”