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Compensation claimed after bandaged contact lens left in eye

Client stories

After months of discomfort and long term damage following laser eye surgery, Ian Jacobs found out that a bandaged contact lens had been left in his left eye for five months after the procedure.

After Optical Express tried to dismiss his concerns with a voucher and confidentiality agreement, he knew he should seek legal action. Georgina Tither, then a trainee solicitor in our medical negligence team at Express Solicitors, helped Ian secure a £16,500 compensation package for his laser eye negligence claim.

The five month itch

Ian Jacobs was an electrician from Park Gate in Southampton who had worn glasses for over twenty years due to being long-sighted. He elected to have laser eye surgery to aid with his work, as his glasses kept falling off and breaking, so went to Optical Express at Southampton’s West Quay shopping centre for the procedure.

His surgery, involving lasering both eyes and having a KAMRA lens inserted in his left eye, took place on 22 June 2010. However, while Ian’s right eye recovered quickly and he could see out of it better than before, his left eye steadily worsened and caused him months of pain and discomfort.

Speaking of his horrible long term issues, Ian said, “My eyesight in my left eye didn’t improve at all and I started to get really bad headaches. It got to the point where I couldn’t work or drive. My sight out of this eye was very blurry and every time I went into a darkened room it became more painful. Also, I was constantly using eye drops in this eye as it kept drying out.”

Following the surgery, Ian returned to the opticians around ten times to discuss the pain, blurred vision, and discomfort. However, his concerns were dismissed every time with the company telling him to ‘trust them’ and that ‘his eyesight would eventually improve’.

After four different opticians checked his eyes in the following months, it wasn’t until November that one pulled out a bandaged lens, asking him why he was wearing one.

A serious claim insultingly dismissed

After it dawned on Ian what must have been transpiring in the five months following his operation, he took his claim to Optical Express. All he wanted was a proper explanation and fair compensation for the months of damage that had been done to his eye:

“I was in shock as I knew it must have been left in since the procedure five months earlier. I wrote an email to Optical Express and within five minutes I got a call offering a full refund for the procedure and £100 for expenses, as well as a disclaimer asking me to keep the incident confidential.

“It was then I got angry and decided to make a proper claim, as when I looked online, I saw this bandaged lens, which had been missed and left in for months, should have been removed 24 hours after the operation. Optical Express didn’t really care about what they had done or that I was left feeling miserable and let down.”

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Considerable compensation payout for Ian

After his concerns were dismissed summarily by Optical Express, Ian wisely sought legal advice for his claim. He got in touch with Express Solicitors and the rest was history.

Georgina Tither worked with Ian to guide him through the legal process and brought his claim against Optical Express. The case came to fruition and Georgina won Ian £16,500 in compensation for pain, suffering, and long term damage to his eye, despite earlier offers to settle for smaller amounts.

“Georgina was fantastic,” Ian said, “she was very polite and helped explain everything to me properly in layman’s terms. The first offer on the table was for £8,000 but Georgina helped negotiate this up to £16,500 and importantly, Optical Express admitted liability. I would highly recommend Express Solicitor to anyone wishing to bring a claim.”

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