Stephanie Holloway, a 28-year-old from Hampshire, had the operation in 2008. Since then, she has suffered with sensitivity to light. This means she cannot use electric lights in her home as they are too bright, so she uses only candles, and she has to wear sunglasses at all times, even when showering.
Miss Holloway told the court that she was not informed of the risk of light sensitivity when she booked the operation, and has not been able to continue with her career as a result.
She had waited five hours for a three-minute initial consultation with a surgeon who had completed 30 patient consultations and 22 operations that day.
The award of more than half a million pounds included compensation for loss of earnings and also for the pain, suffering and distress she endures as a result of her condition.
During the trial, Optical Express stated that they always inform their patients of the risks involved in laser eye surgery, and that the equipment and techniques they use are the most up to date in the field. It was revealed that they had put Miss Holloway under surveillance to try to disprove her claim and show that she was making a fraudulent claim, but had been unable to find any proof of this.
The judge found in favour of Miss Holloway, concluding that Optical Express had:
• Not adequately warned her of the risks involved in the procedure
• Actively ‘sold’ the surgery to Miss Holloway
• Not given an information pack to Miss Holloway outlining the risks involved; therefore she could not give informed consent
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