Friday, September 10, 2004

Eye surgeon suit settled before trial

Details of settlement not revealed by attorneys

Express Staff Writer

Within days of jury selection, a retired Sun Valley physician and his Ketchum eye surgeon agreed to settle a damage lawsuit that had been pending for nearly three years.

Because of a confidentiality agreement, details of the settlement could not be discussed by attorneys for the defendant, Dr. Stephen Graham, and the plaintiff, Dr. Jerrold Goldman.

Goldman filed suit for damages against Graham after Goldman claimed he lost sight in his left eye following a cataract surgery Graham performed on him in July 2000.

All the groundwork, including depositions, had been laid for the trial, which was to begin with jury selection Wednesday, Sept. 8, in the Hailey courtroom of 5th District Judge Robert Elgee.

But Elgee was informed Tuesday morning by Graham?s attorney, Richard Hall, of Boise, that a settlement had been reached and the trial would be unnecessary.

Hall could not be immediately reached for comment.

However, Goldman?s attorney, Lee Schlender, said tersely that both parties were agreeable to the settlement.

Graham?s license to practice as an ophthalmologist in Idaho has been suspended for five years on allegations unrelated to the Goldman lawsuit. The Idaho Board of Medicine found that Graham had issued prescriptions for thousands of doses of medication for patients ordering from Internet pharmacies, although he had not seen or examined the patients and only spoke to them by telephone.

State medical boards in Arizona and Utah also have placed him on probation for the same infractions of prescribing medicines without examining or seeing patients.

However, his license as an optometrist in Idaho has not been affected by the disciplinary actions of the three states? medical boards.

Graham maintains the Boston Eye Center in Ketchum. His office manager says he also practices two days each in Arizona and Utah every week.

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