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Cook County Jury Awards $3 Million Against Dr. Desnick

10.27.1997

A Cook County Circuit Court jury has awarded $3 million to a 19-year-old youth who suffers loss of vision in his right eye as the result of the negligence of a former Chicago ophthalmologist who failed to properly treat the young man's eye condition seventeen years ago.

Corboy & Demetrio represented the plaintiff in his medical negligence case against Dr. James Desnick, a former Chicago ophthalmologist who cared for the plaintiff for three years, beginning Oct. 7, 1980. The plaintiff's parents had taken him to Dr. Desnick because he had developed crossed eyes, a condition known as strabismus.

Expert testimony during the two-week trial in the courtroom of Circuit Court Judge Irwin J. Solganick showed that while Dr. Desnick did diagnose the condition of amblyopia, or a loss of vision, in the plaintiff's right eye, he failed to impress upon Naseem's parents the importance of occlusion therapy, or patching the good eye. Testimony at trial indicated that such occlusion therapy was the accepted standard of medical care for such a condition. Because of Dr. Desnick's failure to stress such therapy, the family also missed appointments.

"The proper treatment of the amblyopia almost certainly would have led the plaintiff to having near normal vision in the right eye." Instead, Dr. Desnick performed surgery upon the plaintiff to correct the strabismus without completing treatment for amblyopia, he added.

The jury deliberated nearly four hours before reaching its $3 million verdict.

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