A 40-year-old diabetic woman with cataracts in both eyes has reached a $900,000 confidential settlement with a St. Louis County doctor whom she said performed unnecessary surgery that left her legally blind in one eye.

Plaintiff's attorney Gary Burger Jr., of Burger Law in St. Louis, said his client continued to have problems after a vitrectomy, a procedure to remove some of the thick gel behind the eye's lens to reduce swelling in the retina. After two follow-up visits, the woman saw another eye doctor when the pain in her left eye persisted said Burger. That doctor found a plug left in her eye by the surgeon 18 days earlier, he said.

"She said it felt like gravel in her eye, repeatedly," Burger said. "She was in bed for months and months". Burger filed a medical malpractice suit in St. Louis County in early July and settle out of court in early November. The confidential agreement prohibits identification of both the woman and the defendant.
Defense attorney James Neville did not respond to several interview requests. Burger provided a copy of the canceled settlement payment as confirmation.
He said that his client, a mother of two who worked part time at her children's day care center has not returned to her job. "She went from being a vibrant woman... and turned into an old lady." he said. "this is rote surgery. It should have never happened."

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