By Paige St. John | Los Angeles Times
SACRAMENTO — The state has paid $585,000 to a former inmate who alleged he lost his eye to poor medical care while in prison.
Frank Lucero was in the state prison at Chino in 2008 for a parole violation when pressure inside his eye, which was stricken with glaucoma, caused the cornea burst. He alleged that prison officials had taken away his pressure-relieving medication and had failed to send him to see an eye doctor despite growing pain.
After the cornea burst, Lucero was taken to an outside hospital, but returned again to the prison for two weeks before surgeons removed the eye as well as connective tissue he would have needed for a transplant…
The prison doctor who initially saw Lucero continues to work at the Chino prison, state medical officials said…
“We reviewed the care provided to this patient by our physicians and our review concluded there was no malpractice involved,” said medical spokeswoman Joyce Hayhoe, who noted that Lucero dropped malpractice claims in court.
As part of the settlement agreement, Lucero agreed to drop the doctor from the litigation in order to avoid the case being reported to the state medical board, said Lucero's lawyer, Ron Kaye of Pasadena…(Full text at Los Angeles Times)
Paco is puzzled. If there was no malpractice in the treatment provided then inmate Lucero, why are we paying him for the loss of an eye? Are we to infer the occasional exploding eyeball is to be expected under proper care?
Why are the tax payers being soaked over the loss of an eye that was going to pop regardless of the diligent medical care provided by CDCR physicians?
More to the point, if depriving a glaucoma patient of prescribed medications, causing the loss of an eye, isn't medical malpractice, what is it? -