Doctor sued over eye treatment

Steve Gonzalez Jul. 17, 2008, 2:12am

Traci Woolfolk has filed a medical malpractice suit against Dr. Wen Y. Chen, alleging he deviated from the acceptable standard of care when treating her eye issues.

Woolfolk claims on July 18, 2006, Chen treated her for uveitis in her right eye and administered a steroid cortisone injection and sulfa eye drops and continued to be treated until November 2006.

Uveitis is the inflammation of the middle layer of the eye and is estimated to be responsible for ten percent of the blindness in the United States.

Woolfolf filed her lawsuit in Madison County Circuit Court on July 14

She says in court papers she informed and reminded Chen that she was allergic to sulfa prior to her treatment.

Chen is a board certified ophthalmologist with the American Board of Ophthalmology and is a staff physician at the SureVision Surgery and Laser Center in Maryville.

Woolfolk alleges Chen disregarded his duties as a reasonably prudent ophthalmologist when he carelessly and negligently administered a steroid cortisone injection into her right eye when he knew or should have known that it would cause or contribute to cause ocular hypertension in her right eye.

She also alleges Chen carelessly administered sulfa eye drops when he knew she was allergic, failed to diagnose episcleritis and failed to properly listen and review her history that would have revealed she has a history of steroid responsive ocular hypertension.

Woolfolk alleges as a result of Chen's alleged negligence she suffered severe and permanent injuries resulting in permanent drooping eye lid, sustained ocular hypertension and episcleritis and intermittent headaches which caused and continues to cause pain and suffering and medical expenses.

Represented by Chris Donohoo of Wood River, Woolfolk is seeking damages in excess of $100,000, plus costs.

Donohoo filed an affidavit with the complaint stating he was unable to obtain a consultation from another health care provider on the merits of Woolfolk's claims as required by statute because the statute of limitations would have expired.

Donohoo said he will get the required consultation within 90 days.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge David Hylla.

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