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MATTHEWS v. SHAMMAS, M.D. and PETERS, M.D.

This case involved the alleged failure to diagnose and treat glaucoma resulting in permanent and disabling vision loss. The patient was an extremely sympathetic individual who claimed he was not advised of a diagnosis made of the onset of glaucoma and early nerve damage made by defendants years before it was incidentally diagnosed as a result of a severe beating he suffered while he was attacked at work while he was a security guard. He claimed the lengthy delay (more than 3 years) caused him permanent and disabling vision loss. The case was tried in Compton, CA, and as a result of discovery and investigation, the case was bifurcated and tried on the Statute of Limitations prior to trial of the case in chief.

The defense of Shammas and Peters and the Shammas Eye Medical Clinic was able to establish that the appropriate diagnosis was made, the patient was in fact, told of his diagnosis, and prescribed medication for it.  The patient/plaintiff was impeached as a result of the investigation and discovery, and the testimony of other physicians he had been to, to whom he made statements which were inconsistent with his trial testimony.  Moreover, due to substantial and thorough investigation, the defense was able to find a physician can witness who, due to disability, had ceased practicing medicine and left the area, leaving virtually no trail.  The testimony of this physician was corroborative of the defense and was essential to the presentation of the defense case.

The jury deliberated for less than three hours before returning and 11/1 verdict on behalf of the defendants.