LOCAL NEWS

$100 Million Lawsuit Alleges Utah Eye Doctor Made Patient Go Blind

Oct 14, 2019, 9:17 PM | Updated: 9:35 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – A lawsuit filed Monday claims medical malpractice against a Utah eye doctor and seeks up to $100 million in damages. The plaintiff said the operation performed by the doctor caused him to go blind and the lawsuit alleges the doctor never should have been doing the surgery in the first place.

Attorneys for plaintiff Robert Arias said Arias went to a free medical clinic to try to get cataract surgery and that’s where he met Dr. Paul Wade Wyatt. They said Wyatt convinced Arias to come to his clinic in Millcreek, where he could do the surgery at a very low cost and he wouldn’t have to wait for one to two years.

Arias says he agreed and had the surgery done, but his attorneys claim it was a surgery that’s not even allowed in the United States and is often referred to as a third world surgery.

They say Wyatt operated on Arias’ left eye in 2018 with no complications, but he had serious problems with his right eye.

“Multiple surgery after surgery and throughout these surgeries our client developed a serious infection in his eye resulting now in total blindness to him and he will probably lose his eye,” said attorney Dustin Lance. “He’s devastated. He’s a young man. He’s in his 30s. He’s married. He’s got young children and he doesn’t know how he’s going to be able to provide for them.”

A check of Wyatt’s medical background showed he had a license to practice ophthalmology 15 years ago in Minnesota. The licensing board there said he had a high rate of complications and surrendered his license.

Wyatt then moved to Wyoming and lost his license again after at least 15 complaints by patients.

Wyatt then came to Utah. He received a medical license here in 2007, but attorneys said he lost it after a couple of years. Wyatt reapplied and the state granted him a license in 2016 with restrictions – restrictions he allegedly ignored.

“He is restricted from having a private practice. He is restricted from any type of surgical ophthalmology and he is restricted from supervising others,” Lance said. “Unfortunately, he did all of those things at Wyatt Eye.”

Earlier this year, Wyatt admitted to the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing he violated his probation on numerous occasions by performing surgeries. He surrendered his Utah license in April.

Attorneys said they believe there are more victims and said Wyatt was targeting people who couldn’t afford to pay very much for eye surgery.

“We’re hoping that some of those victims will come forward, contact us, share their story,” Lance said. “Together, hopefully, they can help obtain some justice.”

The lawsuit seeks $20 to $100 million in damages.

KSL tried to contact Wyatt for his response but did not receive a response.

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$100 Million Lawsuit Alleges Utah Eye Doctor Made Patient Go Blind