Medical Malpractice in Uveitis: A Review of Clinical Entities and Outcomes

Ashvini Reddy, Stephanie B. Engelhard, Christopher T. Shah, Austin J. Sim, Jennifer Thorne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To guide risk management in uveitis. Methods: Retrospective review of malpractice verdicts, rulings, and settlements. Results: The WestLaw® database was reviewed for lawsuits related to uveitis in the United States from 1930–2014. Twenty-five cases met inclusion criteria, and 48% of these were infectious. Overall, 64% of outcomes favored the defendant ophthalmologist. The most common diagnoses were viral retinitis (28%), iritis (12%), syphilis (8%), and toxoplasmosis (8%). Seven suits (28%) were resolved by settlement, with mean adjusted indemnities of $724,302 (median, $409,390; range, $127,837–2,021,887). Two cases (8%) resulted in plaintiff verdict, with adjusted awards of $1,399,800 and $630,799. Conclusions: Despite being a rare diagnosis, viral retinitis (especially acute retinal necrosis) is the most common clinical entity associated with litigation in uveitis and should be considered early. Educating patients about potential adverse events, early testing for syphilis, and maintaining a positive relationship may also minimize risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalOcular Immunology and Inflammation
StateAccepted/In press - Aug 9 2016


  • Acute retinal necrosis
  • litigation
  • malpractice
  • uveitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Ophthalmology

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