Dentist gets $5.6M for botched surgery that destroyed career

2016 09 01 13 52 16 412 Gavel 400

A Toronto judge has awarded $5.6 million in damages to a man who lost his career as a dentist following a botched vision-correction surgery, according to a report in the National Post.

Yair Karas, MD, an ophthalmologist, was ordered on October 16 to compensate Brent Jesperson, DDS, for losses he experienced following what a judge called a "poorly done and misleadingly explained" surgery.

Most of the damages awarded to Dr. Jesperson were to compensate him for his future earning potential. When he left the dental profession in 2009, he made $400,000 per year.

In 1994, Jesperson underwent vision-correction surgery. At first, the surgery seemed to be a success, until his eyesight worsened and he began experiencing blurriness, glare, and impaired depth perception. Depressed and suicidal because his eyesight hindered his ability to work on patients, Dr. Jesperson abandoned his work in 2009.

Prior to laser-correction surgery, this type of radial keratotomy surgery carried the potential of long-term complications. The judge found that Dr. Karas, 78, who retired in 2016, conducted the surgery negligently and failed to warn his patient of known risks -- ones the dentist likely would not have taken.

Finally, the judge concluded that Dr. Karas failed to meet the standard of care by using a pattern of incisions that left a clear area that was too small and that cut into the eye's limbus. Performing the procedure this way was known to be less effective.

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