San Jose Veteran Claims Medical Malpractice After Loss Of Eye Sight

It is worth noting that situations similar to those described in this medical malpractice case could just as easily occur at any of the healthcare facilities in the San Jose area, such as Kaiser Permanente, Regional Medical Center, Good Samaritan Hospital, Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, or O’Connor Hospital.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this personal injury lawsuit and its proceedings.)

INJURIES: Kirk now lives in San Jose and claimed the delayed diagnosis and treatment of his glaucoma caused legal blindness in his right eye and loss of 15 percent of vision in his left eye.


In early 2009, L.T. Kirk Jr., 68, who served in a U.S. Air Force special unit that maintained fighter jets flown in the Korean War, was one of eight eye patients receiving treatment at the Veterans Administration hospital in Palo Alto, when he was contacted by VA Palo Alto Health Care System and informed that he received improper care that may have caused some vision loss, which could have been prevented.

Kirk filed an Administrative Tort Claim, under the Federal Tort Claims Act, against the United States government, which owns and manages the hospital, for medical malpractice – negligent treatment and failure to diagnose or consult.

Kirk subsequently became legally blind in his right eye and suffered vision loss in his left, as well. He contended that the hospital failed to treat him for his glaucoma for several years, and also contended that there was an internal breakdown at the VA Hospital arising out of the VA’s failure to follow its own policy that all glaucoma patients seen in the optometry department must be referred to the ophthalmology department for care and treatment by medical doctors, and that the optometrists should have also consulted with an ophthalmologist or medical doctor for his care.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

The defense did not argue liability and requested a mediation focused on damages.

Kirk’s wife also claimed loss of consortium.

Kirk was part of a study with eight other veterans. The government settled with another veteran in November 2010. Counsel for Kirk noted that Kirk received a higher settlement than the other veteran because he was still young enough to work, though he couldn’t maintain employment due to his sight impairment.

RESULT: Settlement
Award Total: $400,000
The case ultimately settled based on the California Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act cap of $250,000 for general damages plus special damages for wage loss. The total settlement was $400,000.

The case settled while it was still in the Administrative Tort Claim stage. No lawsuit was filed.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Contact Information