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Friday, June 14, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Woman Claims Plastic Surgery Blinded Her

SAN DIEGO (CN) - A patient claims a plastic surgery group botched her breast reduction, liposuction and tummy tuck so badly she became blind.

Jennifer Finlan sued South Bay Head and Neck Medical Group dba New Image Cosmetic Surgery, eight doctors and two hospitals, in Superior Court.

She claims that the medical group advertises itself on its website as having performed more than "18,000 cosmetic surgery procedures" and that "their surgeons and staff had been performing breast lift and reductions longer than most surgeons in San Diego."

Finlan claims that a New Image sales rep told her that lead defendant Dr. Sean Darcy had done "more than 50" of the procedures she sought.

But the medical group concealed that Darcy had been dismissed from the Plastic Surgery Residence Program at the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine, according to the complaint.

The lawsuit continues: "The reasons for his dismissal included the following: (a) deficiency in numerous clinical areas including knowledge of anatomy and technical skills, (b) inconsistent clinical performance resulting in 'alarming' evaluations; (c) 'lackluster' and 'declining' performance throughout the residency in general; (d) 'grossly unacceptable' test scores in the bottom 9th percentile and bottom 21st percentile nationwide; (f) falling 'significantly short in areas of preparation, attention to detail, and follow-up'; (g) documented incidents where his conduct 'bordered on dangerous with respect to patient safety'; and (h) an incident in which defendant Darcy threatened one of his instructors with a scalpel during a remedial suturing skills exercise."

Finlan went into surgery on Nov. 19, 2012, the same day Darcy "signed a Verified Petition for Writ of Administration Mandamus challenging this dismissal from the program," according to the lawsuit.

Darcy and the medical group told her the surgery would take no more than six hours, but it lasted for more than nine, during which time Finlan was under anesthesia, according to the complaint.

Finlan says she suffered not only "physical problems surrounding the site of the procedures" but complete loss of vision in both.

She claims she has been diagnosed with optic neuropathy resulting in permanent and total vision loss in both eyes.

She seeks punitive damages for medical negligence, negligent hiring and retention, constructive fraud, concealment, intentional misrepresentation, negligent misrepresentation, and premises liability.

She is represented by Daniel Cross.

Defendants include Sharp Coronado Hospital and Healthcare Center and Scripps Mercy Hospital.

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