Should I sue for malpractice?

  1. Several months ago I had pain in/around my eyes and my physician referred me to an opthalmologist. I went to their office, which had an MD, and a few optometrists, and I was seen by an optometrist though I then thought she was a MD. Anyhow, this person diagnosed me as having glaucoma.

    (For anyone who doesn't know, glaucoma happens when the pressure inside the eyball increases for various reasons, and damages the optic nerve, causing irreparable vision loss unless treated agressively)

    I had a battery of tests and eye exams, and I had to go in every three weeks or so for the past three months to have my eye pressures tested. Each time they were reported as higher than normal, and I was asked to come back. I was taking medications that cost $120 for a month supply.

    I wasn't happy with this and sought a second opinion - why was I being told that my eye pressures were high, but nothing was being done except I was being asked to continue the same meds?

    Turns out that my eye pressures are absolutely normal! I have no vision problem, my optic nerves look okay...this time I made absolutely damn sure I was seeing a MD.

    I've had three months of countless worries - doctor's payments, medical bills and the worry that I had a medical condition that required lifetime treatment..

    Should I sue the people who misdiagnosed me? I sure feel like it!
     
  2. Wow, that's horrible. I would consult an attorney for sure, I would at least want to be reimbursed for the medication and unneccessary appoints.
     
  3. I am not a lawyer, but my limited understanding of medical mal is you have to have been damaged or hurt or died due to the medical error. Misdiagnosis happens all the time, as do unnecessary appointments, tests and wasted money. However, if you can find a medical mal attorney and you want to have a consult go for it!
     
  4. I'd go for it! Good luck
     
  5. if you were not phsyically damaged or now experience life long negative results, i wouldnt sue. why? mistakes happen...i was diagnosed with mono when it something way worse but i didnt want to sue i just wnated to get better. i have had numerous testing for cancer also (and that is mighty expensive) all to find out its just stress....i also was diagnosed with a sinus infection when it was pneumonia so really, stuff like that happens and unless you were physically and permantely damgage for life i would advise you NOT to sue.
     
  6. I would at least consult an attorney to get the medical fees, etc that you paid back. :smile:
     
  7. That's terrible, Merika! I remember when this started--the worry in addition to the time, expense, etc. was all unnecessary because of their mistake. How hard is it to measure eye pressure..... Have you approached their office about what you've found out or are you gathering info before doing that? Good luck whatever you decide. It would seem logical that they would be responsible for your expenses, but I'm not a lawyer and the law isn't always logical.
     
  8. I think you would talk to a lawyer first- and decide if it is worth it. I am not a lawyer, nor a Dr, but what I know is that lawyer fees and court fees take time and tons of money... that may add up and it may get you no where in the end.

    Either way, sorry this happened to you.

    And yes, like others said, if you are not damaged from this etc- you may have a hard time.
     
  9. I would definitely go see an attorney. That's really not right. You should get your money back. Let them know that you are emotionally "damaged" as you went through all of that unnecessary medicine and tests when you were perfectly fine, and now, just b/c of this incident, you find it a challenging obstacle to go to any doctor after this awful occurence and that you have lost your trust in doctors and let them know it could affect your health. Sorry this happened to you, and Good luck!
     
  10. I am so sorry this happened to you!!

    In my state, this would not be a cause to sue for medical malpractice. In Michigan (where it's very hard to sue for malpractice) you have to show a breach of the standard of care and have economic and/or non-economic damages. Your economic damages would be the out-of-pocket medical expenses you incurred and non-economic damages would be the stress you suffered thinking you had glaucoma. However, I think it would be really hard to find an expert medical doctor to testify that there was a breach of the standard of care, especially if you do not have permanent damage resulting from the misdiagnosis. And, sadly, even if there was a breach of the standard of care, most attorneys wouldn't take your case because the cost of pursuing med mal cases is astronomical and your damages are probably less than it would cost to pursue the case.

    You could contact the risk management department of the office where you were misdiagnosed and ask for reimbursement of your our-of-pocket expenses. Or, you could contact an attorney and ask them to write a letter on your behalf. I really think that's about all an attorney could most likely do.

    We see cases all the time where people suffer horrible and debilitating injuries and sometimes even death and because of our state's law we can't help them. That doesn't mean the doctor or hospital didn't make a mistake and that people weren't treated properly -- it just means that the law sometimes isn't fair and some people cannot get justice.

    Good luck! :flowers:
     
  11. Contact the first office and get a copy of your record to see what it says. Is it possible that the treatment received at the first office resulted in your pressure being under control at the second office? And please get checked again if you go off your medication...
     
  12. Sorry you had such a bad time, there is no excuse for that. I had eye pressures up for a short time & I know how worrying it can be. Thankfully mine are ok now but I tend to agree with Megs you must decide if it is worth all the stress of a law suit & you will probably gain little at the end.
     
  13. i probably wouldn't go so far as suing, but i'd definately want to have a meeting with the person that runs the office where you were misdiagnosed and make sure that they're fully aware of the mistakes that were made in your treatment.

    i'm not a doctor, but i have a lot of friends in med school and contrary to what most of us (myself included) really want to believe, medicine is far from an exact science. tests can be flawed an inaccurate, even if performed at a reasonable standard of care. doctors are usually doing the best that they can, but there are so many variables and so many possible illnesses that they can't possibly be right all the time.

    it's a different issue, though, if they were purposely misinforming you of your results in order to continue to get payment out of you. if you can find your test records and prove that, then you could take them to court for fraud, most likely. particularly if you could, somehow, find other pacients who had experienced the same thing - it would demonstrate a pattern of behavior.
     
  14. Sorry to hear you are having this problem.

    Just to play devil's advocate to give you another viewpoint, do you know for sure that this second opinion is concrete that you don't have a problem? It's very possible the second one could be off if you only went once.

    After considering that, if you really are ok, I would say if you haven't been financially or emotionally permanently harmed, it would probably be really hard to get any kind of compensation and just create more stress for you.

    Not the perfect answer, I'm sorry, but I hope it helps to read the other responses and get out some frustration by talking about it. Glad to hear you're OK and I hope that is really the true diagnosis.
     
  15. How scary! I'm sorry they made you go through all of this. You mentioned you took medication...I wonder what effects this had or will have on your body. There are so many questions and they should be held accountable. Good luck and let us know how you are doing.