Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Law Blog

A New Hampshire Woman is Left Legally Blind After Unnecessary Procedure

Posted by Briggs Bedigian | Dec 30, 2016 | 0 Comments

A new Hampshire couple was awarded $4.7 million after an ophthalmologist was found guilty of performing a procedure that left a woman legally blind.

On a Friday morning, Nancy Knox decided to visit her local family eye doctor, Adam Beck, after experiencing issues with her eyes. The 67-year-old had been dealing with symptoms of the wet form of an extremely common eye condition in seniors, called macular degeneration - the deterioration of the central portion of the retina. After growing tired of her symptoms, Knox went into her appointment finally ready for the examination and treatment of her condition.

According to Knox's medical malpractice claim, Dr. Beck injected his client's eyes with a steroid that proved to be way too aggressive for Mrs. Knox. She lost most of the vision in her left eye, while her her right eye had to be surgically removed due to shrinkage caused by the steroid. A glass eye had to be put in its place. The injection was so potent, Knox rapidly developed glaucoma, which ultimately led to blindness and the removal of her eye. On his own, he performed three other procedures that day, causing excruciating pain and unintentionally sabotaging any chances Knox possibly had to salvage her vision. She and her husband had been loyal patients to Dr. Beck for eight years.

Knox's lawyer, Richard Fradette, stated that any other competent ophthalmologist wouldn't have used that method of treatment, especially given Knox's previous medical history. He says that the mere fact that she had been fiercely battling glaucoma for years now was an obvious indication that the steroid shouldn't have been administered to her. Knox's lawyer alleged that Dr. Beck was unqualified to be making these kinds of decisions.

“He didn't have the training to do what he was doing, that's the bottom line,” Fradette said during an interview.

However, Dr. Beck's lawyers pulled out the big guns in an attempt to prove Mrs. Knox had partial responsibility for her injuries. They had an expert witness from the Massachusetts Eye and Ear infirmary in Boston testify that there was no problem with the way she was treated.

After a grueling six days of litigation and two and a half days of deliberation, the jury and judge of Rockingham County Superior Court finally made a decision. They ruled that Dr. Beck failed to meet the standard of care and would be held liable for his client's injuries.

The court awarded Mrs. Knox just under $4.7 million only for what happened to her right eye, they also decided that her husband Joseph Knox should receive $350,000 for his loss of companionship.

If you have been harmed as a result of the negligence of a medical professional or organization, you may be eligible for compensation. Attorneys Charles Gilman and Briggs Bedigian are dedicated to getting you the best results possible. Call their office at (800) 529-6162 or contact them online. The firm handles cases in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C.

About the Author

Briggs Bedigian

H. Briggs Bedigian (“Briggs”) is a founding partner of Gilman & Bedigian, LLC.  Prior to forming Gilman & Bedigian, LLC, Briggs was a partner at Wais, Vogelstein and Bedigian, LLC, where he was the head of the firm's litigation practice.  Briggs' legal practice is focused on representing clients involved in medical malpractice and catastrophic personal injury cases. 

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