January 30, 2022

A Montana medical malpractice lawsuit alleges that Glacier Eye Clinic and Kalispell Regional Medical Center negligently failed to refer a teenager to a neurosurgeon over the period of one month when the now 18-year-old was suffering from increasing cerebral spinal fluid in his brain that was putting pressure on his optic nerve that led to the steady deterioration of his eyesight.

Brett Carmen alleges in his Montana medical malpractice lawsuit that he had a brain MRI that was read as normal but the radiologist who read the MRI stated that increased cranial pressure could not be ruled out. A subsequent lumbar puncture determined that his cerebral spinal fluid level was substantially elevated.

According to the Montana medical malpractice lawsuit, the plaintiff was evaluated by an ophthalmologist at the Glacier Eye Clinic in early January 2018, who diagnosed him with “idiopathic intracranial hypertension” and continued to treat him with various medications. Despite that treatment, the plaintiff’s vision continued to deteriorate until he was referred to a neurosurgeon. On January 15, 2018, the neurosurgeon  inserted a shunt to relieve the pressure in his brain. However, by that time, the loss of vision had become permanent and he was then blind, according to the plaintiff’s complaint.

The plaintiff’s Montana medical malpractice complaint alleges that the ophthalmologist “departed from accepted standards of care by failing to timely recognize Brett’s need, not later than January 5, 2018, for urgent neurosurgical evaluation. By that date he knew, or should have known, Brett had pseudotumor cerebri, severe papilledema, severe visual field loss, continuing severe headaches and worsening vision despite increasing doses of acetazolamide.”

The plaintiff’s complaint further alleges that the medical staff at Kalispell Regional Medical Center breached the standard of care by failing to recognize on December 21, 2017 the urgent need to refer the plaintiff to a neurosurgeon.

Glacier Eye Clinic and Kalispell Regional Medical Center deny the allegations in court filings and argue that the plaintiff’s treatment was consistent with the standard of care for his symptoms.

The Montana medical malpractice trial is scheduled to begin in-person before a jury on January 31, 2022.

Source Brett Camen v. Glacier Eye Clinic PC and Kalispell Regional Medical Center Inc., Case Number DV-15-2019-0000361-PI, Montana Eleventh Judicial District Court in Flathead County.

Montana Code Annotated 2021 Section 27-2-205 provides, in part, that an action for medical malpractice “must, except as provided in subsection (2), be commenced within 2 years after the date of injury or within 2 years after the plaintiff discovers or through the use of reasonable diligence should have discovered the injury, whichever occurs last, but in no case may an action be commenced after 5 years from the date of injury. However, this time limitation is tolled for any period during which there has been a failure to disclose any act, error, or omission upon which an action is based and that is known to the defendant or through the use of reasonable diligence subsequent to the act, error, or omission would have been known to the defendant. (2) Notwithstanding the provisions of 27-2-401, in an action for death or injury of a minor who was under the age of 4 on the date of the minor’s injury, the period of limitations in subsection (1) begins to run when the minor reaches the minor’s eighth birthday or dies, whichever occurs first, and the time for commencement of the action is tolled during any period during which the minor does not reside with a parent or guardian.”

If you or a loved one have suffered serious harm as a result of medical negligence in Montana or in another U.S. state, you should promptly find a Montana medical malpractice attorney, or a medical malpractice attorney in your state, who may investigate your medical malpractice claim for you and represent you or your loved one in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.

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