This paper presents a retrospective review of malpractice verdicts, rulings and settlements in the United States. Twenty-five cases of uveitis-related litigation spanning 1971-2014 were identified from the database representing 2.3% of all cases. Forty-eight percent of the cases were infectious. Sixty-four percent of outcomes favoured the defendant ophthalmologist. The most common diagnoses were viral retinitis (28%) especially acute retinal necrosis, iritis (12%), syphilis (8%) and toxoplasmosis (8%). Seven cases were resolved by settlement with mean adjusted verdict awards of $1,399,800 and $630,799. The authors also stress the importance of maintaining a favourable doctor-patient relationship in decreasing the risk of a lawsuit. The likelihood that a patient will file a malpractice suit against a doctor depends to some degree on cultural, regional and socioeconomic factors that are inconstant over time. This paper suggests that malpractice in uveitis can be limited by evaluating infectious causes (viral retinitis, syphilis, toxoplasmosis) early in management and educating patients about potential adverse effects of medications.

Medical malpractice in uveitis: a review of clinical entities and outcomes.
Reddy A, Engelhard S, Shah C, et al.
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Nikolaos D Georgakarakos

Moorfields Eye Hospital, London, UK.

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