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OLG Hamm: Trainee receives 80,000 euros for impending blindness
(jur). If an ophthalmologist lags a patient's eye pressure measurement despite progressive deterioration in visual performance, this can be expensive. Because if a so-called glaucoma with impending blindness was recognized far too late, there is a gross finding error for which compensation for pain and suffering is due, the Higher Regional Court (OLG) Hamm decided in a judgment published on Tuesday, May 31, 2016 (Az. : 26 U 107/15). It awarded 80,000 euros in pain and suffering to a 19-year-old trainee today.
The young woman has had diabetes since the age of ten and is therefore at higher risk of visual damage. When the woman went to see her ophthalmologist several times after the 2008 summer vacation because of the progressive deterioration in her vision, the real reason was not recognized. Even until the last treatment in February 2009, the ophthalmologist did not perform the required intraocular pressure examination.
It was only in March 2009 that the patient was diagnosed with a glaucoma during an emergency admission to the city clinic in Bielefeld. The optic nerve is irreparably damaged due to increased intraocular pressure. As a result of the disease, the woman's eyesight in both eyes deteriorated from 60 to only 30 percent. There is a high probability that the woman will experience premature blindness.
She therefore asked her ophthalmologist to pay pain and suffering of 80,000 euros. According to the plaintiff, it is a gross error in finding that no intraocular pressure measurement and no visual field measurement were carried out. With an earlier diagnosis, the intraocular pressure could have been reduced with medication. The deterioration in vision could have been significantly less.
While the district court of Bielefeld awarded the claimant partial pain compensation of only 25,000 euros, the OLG increased the payment to a total of 80,000 euros. The ophthalmologist had grossly failed to take the necessary intraocular pressure measurement. Because of the delayed treatment of her glaucoma, the young applicant was deprived of the opportunity to "live an adequate life", the judgment of 10 May 2016 said.
Not only is she restricted in sporting activities, she also can't drive a car. In addition, she can only take up jobs according to her limited vision. After all, she had to live with the certainty that she was very likely to go completely blind during her lifetime. All of this justified the high compensation for pain and suffering, the OLG explained. fle / mwo