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Woman’s use of eyelids damaged in surgery – $800,000 Verdict

Virginia Lawyers Weekly//April 30, 2018

Woman’s use of eyelids damaged in surgery – $800,000 Verdict

Virginia Lawyers Weekly//April 30, 2018//

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Patient, a 70-year-old Taiwanese woman, sought cosmetic surgery to remove the “puffiness” in her eyelids. She went to defendant (plastic surgeon) who recommended a blepharoplasty (a procedure to remove fat from her eyelids). During the blepharoplasty, defendant severed the tendon in one eye and the muscle in the other so that upon awakening from surgery the patient could not open either eye. The patient sought the services of Dr. Malone, an opthalmic plastic surgeon who attempted repair surgery. The surgery was successful in regaining function of the patient’s left eyelid, but he was unable to correct the right eyelid so that it would raise above the pupil–rendering the patient unable to see out of her right eye without manually raising her eyelid (she testified that occasionally she uses scotch tape to tape her eyelid open).

Defendant denied negligence and testified that after he successfully completed the blepharoplasties, he explored the eyelids and found the structures that control the function of the eyelids were not intact (the patient had no difficulty seeing or opening and closing her eyelids before the procedure).

During closing, plaintiff asked for $800,000.


Type of action: Medical Malpractice

Injuries alleged: Inability to raise eyelid

Name of case: Stuart v. Michael Gross, M.D.

Court: Fairfax Circuit Court

Case no.: 2016-16283

Tried before: Jury

Name of judge or mediator: Judge Thomas P. Mann

Date resolved: Feb. 14, 2018

Demand: $500,000

Offer: $250,000

Verdict or settlement: Verdict

Amount: $800,000

Attorneys for plaintiff: Gary B. Mims, and Matthew Perushek, Fairfax

Attorneys for defendant: Susan L. Mitchell, and Matthew Banks, Chantilly

Plaintiff’s experts: Timothy Malone, M.D.–treating surgeon

Defendant’s experts: John Pittman III, M.D.

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