ZDR Settles Injury Case for Child Who Lost an Eye

A boy sits in his father's lap, similar to the boy who ZDR recently settled a delayed diagnosis lawsuit on behalf of.

In June of 2019, a Missouri court approved the confidential settlement of a lawsuit filed by ZDR on behalf of a 4-year-old boy who suffered the loss of an eye due to the delayed diagnosis of retinoblastoma.

About Retinoblastoma

Retinoblastoma is a rare eye cancer in which tumors form on the retina. It most commonly occurs in children under five years of age, but may also affect older adults. One of the most common symptoms of retinoblastoma is an abnormal red reflex that may be seen by a doctor during an eye exam or may be noticed in pictures where one eye exhibits the red reflex and one does not. Additional symptoms include a red eye, difficulty seeing clearly, squinting and crossed eyes.  

Because retinoblastoma spreads quickly, a positive prognosis is often dependent upon early intervention and treatment of the tumor. In more advanced cases, enucleation (surgical removal) of the eye may be necessary. The child may also require special medical procedures, such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy. 

Delayed Diagnosis Lawsuit

ZDR worked closely with pediatric and ophthalmology experts to determine that our client had suffered from retinoblastoma for at least a year prior to his diagnosis. This conclusion was based on their collective review of our client’s medical records and photographs supplied by his mother showing the differences in his eye’s reflexes over time. Our medical experts concluded that our client’s physicians failed to timely diagnose and treat the tumor and that their negligence resulted in the permanent loss of his eye. 

As a result, our client’s eye had to be surgically removed and he underwent several chemotherapy treatments that would not have been necessary had his doctors performed thorough eye exams and paid attention to his mother’s complaints. This delayed diagnosis is considered a form of medical malpractice, as physicians have a responsibility to provide timely, accurate diagnoses. 

Damages for Loss of an Eye

Not only was our client entitled to compensation for the pain and suffering he sustained from losing an eye, but also he was entitled to compensation for future treatments associated with the loss. This includes continued doctor visits, replacements of prosthetic eyes in the future, and for any professional accommodations necessary as a result of having only one eye. Our attorneys were also able to calculate the value of his lost earning capacity due to limitations he will face in the future.

Lawsuits on Behalf of a Minor

Missouri parents may file a lawsuit on behalf of their child anytime before the child’s 20th birthday. Any lawsuits before the child reaches the age of majority, or age 18, must be filed by a parent, guardian or conservator acting on the child’s behalf. Additionally, any court-approved funds obtained from a settlement on behalf of a minor must be placed into a conservatorship or trust for the child’s use when he or she reaches the age of majority.

Missouri Medical Malpractice Lawyer

If you have suffered as a result of medical malpractice, contact our legal team right away. Waiting to seek legal representation can prevent you from filing a claim and receiving the compensation you deserve.

Contact Zevan Murphy today.

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