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Greenwood man blames eye doctors for vision loss

Posted at 5:30 AM, Jan 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-30 06:58:02-05

GREENWOOD — Alan Zimmerman sees good health as key to a good life but everything changed forever after an eye checkup.

“I just trusted their decisions, their guidance. It was wrong, and I found out the wrong way," Zimmerman said.

Back in March 2016, Zimmerman went to Ossip Optometry in Greenwood complaining about blurriness in his right eye, among several symptoms. He had two appointments, one on March 22, 2016 and the other on March 25, 2016. On those days at the same location, he was seen by two separate doctors, Dr. Mary Beth Woehrle and Dr. Amanda Dininger.

Zimmerman says his doctors’ failed to diagnose a retinal detachment in his right eye because they did not dilate his eyes, and depended on a machine during the check-up.

The result Alan has permanent vision loss in his right eye.

"I've had to alter everything I have done all my life, and I'm 65, in order to accommodate for something that I never going to get it back," Zimmerman said.

One of the biggest setbacks from his vision loss is he can no longer coach his grandchildren on to how to accurately shoot a basketball, a sport he loves.

"It's blurry. I can't see to the right as well, as I used to even shooting things straight ahead pretty much need both eyes to be working together. You don't shoot a basketball with one eye shut," Zimmerman said.

In 2018, the veteran filed a complaint with the Medical Review Panel. In 2019, three separate doctors looked over the case. Between October and December 2019, doctors from Bloomington, Muncie and New Castle separately put in writing that based on the evidence Ossip doctors "failed to comply with the appropriate standard of care."

Justin Kuhn with the Indianapolis-based law firm Cohen and Malad is representing Zimmerman in the current lawsuit against Ossip Optometry and the eye doctors.

“The treatment that Alan should have received should be Optometry 101. It should be a routine thing," attorney Justin Kuhn said. "The automatic response is to perform a dilated eye exam that checks the retina. That was not done."

Zimmerman never envisioned being in this legal fight, but he plans to see it through the end. He’s encouraging people stay on top of their medical exams and if there is ever a doubt to get a second opinion.

We reached out to the lawyers for Ossip Optometry and doctors Dininger and Woehrle and received two separate statements.

Attorney James E. Zoccola with the law firm Lewis Kappes wrote, “Thank you for your inquiry. We are unable to comment while this action is pending and ongoing.”

We received another response from attorney Michelle P. Burchett with the law firm O’Neill McFadden & Willett who wrote, “We represent Dr. Dininger and Ossip Optometry. Like Mr. Zoccola, we cannot comment because this matter is in active litigation."

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