Woman who can't blink sues surgeon

Friday, April 1, 2011
A US woman has successfully sued her plastic surgeon and awarded US$115,000 (A$111,437) in compensation after a botched operation left her unable to fully close her eyes — even when she sleeps.

New Jersey resident Marilyn Leisz went to plastic surgeon Dr Paul Barker to correct bumps on her eyelids from previous cosmetic procedures. But the latest procedure left her unable to fully close her eyes.

"To blink I really have to really squeeze my eyes to … fully close my eyes," she told CBS.

The married mother-of-two said that to her keep eyes from being damaged she now has to use a number of gels and drops in her eyes and claimed she is already losing her vision.

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Leisz sued Dr Parker for negligence, claiming he did not warn her of the risks involved in the procedure. Dr Parker denied the allegations.

"The patient was given information about those risks," Dr Parker's lawyer said.

Leisz's lawyers argued that Dr Parker shouldn't have performed surgery on eyelids that had already been stretched to the limit.

Leisz said that while she might be able to undergo more procedures to correct the problem, she is now afraid to go under the knife again and that the operation had affected her life considerably.

"All the favourite things I used to, like tennis, racquetball, swimming, horseback riding, bike riding, skeet shooting, gardening, I can't do those things," she said.

She claimed that the amount awarded was "a joke" and had expected US500,000.

"The award given to me can't anywhere touch what has happened with my eyes," Leisz said.

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