Chad Bradford and Sarah Vrabel obtained a defense verdict in favor of an ophthalmology practice in Delaware County (Muncie, Indiana) on March 30, 2023. After he suffered a chemical exposure and eye injury at work , plaintiff was irrigated and presented to the emergency room. The attending physician in the emergency department consulted the on-call ophthalmologist with the defendant practice and it was felt plaintiff had suffered a corneal abrasion. The opthalmologist recommended antibiotics and asked to see plaintiff the following day. During this appointment the following day, defendant’s physician confirmed that the chemical involved was sodium hydroxide, learned that this information had been available but not provided the previous day, and emergently referred plaintiff to a corneal specialist for further treatment.
The case was presented to a medical review panel which unanimously felt that defendant had breached the standard of care. The panel’s opinion was split as to the hospital and attending emergency medicine provider. Plaintiff also presented testimony from an ophthalmologist arguing that further irrigation at the time plaintiff presented to the emergency room would have resulted in a better outcome for plaintiff.
The defense presented testimony of two corneal specialists, from Miami, Florida and Louisville, Kentucky, and argued that the irrigation received at the workplace was appropriate and that further irrigation would not have made a difference. Defense argued further that defendant’s consulting ophthalmologist provided an entirely appropriate consultation and that his decision to see plaintiff the following day, based upon the information provided to him, met the standard of care.
After a four day trial, the jury returned a unanimous verdict in favor of the defendant ophthalmology practice. The jury did return a verdict in favor of plaintiff and against the co-defendants, the hospital and emergency medicine provider. Judgment was entered in favor of OBT’s client and against plaintiff.