Under Pressure: Liability Risks in Diagnosing and Treating Glaucoma

Introduction

Glaucoma Liability Issues
Even though more than three million Americans have glaucoma, only about half of those suffering from glaucoma are aware of it. The most common type of glaucoma has virtually no symptoms to warn of the disease, which can cause blindness if left untreated. Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness around the world. January is Glaucoma Awareness Month.

Glaucoma accounts for about 10 million visits to doctors each year. Although the disease cannot be cured, and vision lost as a result of glaucoma cannot be regained, patients may be able to prevent further loss of vision with medication and/or surgery.

Experts project that the incidence of glaucoma will increase by more than 50% by the year 2030. Economic costs to the U.S. government alone related to glaucoma may be more than $1.5 billion annually.

Injuries related to glaucoma can lead to litigation. Claims may include allegations of medical malpractice or negligence, disability discrimination, product liability, and others. Attorneys, physicians, insurers, employers, and other potential parties to litigation should be aware of the types of lawsuits and other liability issues that may arise in connection with injuries related to glaucoma.