Retired pitcher wins malpractice award

Feb. 5, 2008 at 3:31 PM

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., Feb. 5 (UPI) -- A Florida jury has awarded Jim Palmer, former pitching ace with the Baltimore Orioles, $890,000 in damages for surgery that worsened his vision problems.

Palmer, a triple Cy Young Award winner and member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, sued Dr. Tom Coffman, an ophthalmologist who lives in Manalapan, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported Tuesday..

"I wish it had never come to this," Palmer said. "I don't wish a detached retina on anybody."

Coffman said that the verdict was "unfortunate."

Gary Cohen, Palmer's lawyer, suggested that Coffman convinced Palmer to get an artificial lens that was not appropriate for night vision. He also said that the doctor ignored signs of damage to the retina after the operation, leading to a detached retina when nothing was done to treat the injuries.

The total damages included $327,000 for lost earnings and $563,000 for pain and suffering. Palmer claimed that he was no longer able to function as a commentator for the Orioles because most games are at night.

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