• Class-action claim targets Lasik Eye Centers Thursday, March 25, 2010

    Lawyers in South Carolina have filed a class-action lawsuit against TLC Lasik Eye Centers, accusing the nationwide chain of operating on patients who were medically unsuited for the surgeries. Then, the lawsuit charges, the centers waited to schedule follow-up appointments, which would discover post-Lasik surgery complications, after the statute of limitations had passed for filing legal claims.

    The plaintiffs also named 58, if we counted right, doctors and directors. The complaint, for those of you keeping track at home, is here.

    This is, of course, a legal claim and nothing is proved (we all know how that works). But if the plaintiffs make the case, this could be a new low for mass-market medical practitioners. The plaintiff’s lawyers allegedly found a database that Lasik Eye Centers maintained to track patients for whom the procedure was contra-indicated, along with the dates after which the patients couldn’t file a claim over the complications that the doctors allegedly knew were likely to result from the surgery.

    So instead of clearing up vision problems, worse problems were created, the suit alleges. Rather than help the patients, the centers tried to pressure them to sign release forms in return for continued care for the problem the Lasik doctors allegedly created in the first place.

    Adding to the fun: TLC’s parent, TLC Vision Corp. of Missouri, is in the process of trying to reorganize itself out of bankruptcy. The firm runs at least 12 centers in California.

    As for us, we’ll just stick with the corrective lenses, thanks.

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