August 14, 2003

Serial Surgeon Sued for Performing 20 Unnecessary Surgeries

Judge Tepper Sues Eye Doctor

St. Petersburg Times

Pasco-Pinellas Circuit Judge Lynn Tepper has filed a lawsuit against a doctor and his office over an eye operation that she says led to more than 20 unnecessary surgeries and damaged vision in her right eye.

Tepper, 51, who presides over civil matters at the Dade City courthouse, had dedicated herself to the family court system for years until her eyesight and the need for more operations forced her to move to civil court and its more flexible schedule.

In her suit, filed in Clearwater on Tuesday by Tampa attorney Patrick Dekle, Tepper says Dr. John L. Michaelos performed his first operation on her right eye on Dec. 28, 2000.

The suit alleges the LASIK laser surgery on her right eye went awry, and a slew of repeat operations failed to fix the problems, limiting the judge's ability to read and drive and leaving her with blurred vision and a fear of going blind.

"Work is slower and harder," the suit states. "Reading law books and documents are required in her job; also, she is less able to perform work-related speaking engagements and article writing."

Tepper's suit also names St. Michael's Eye & Laser Institute, in Clearwater. The suit demands unspecified damages above the $15,000 threshold to place the case in Circuit Court, and Tepper is demanding a jury trial.

Posted by Admin at August 14, 2003 02:00 PM