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Fiona Cambell v David Teenan/Optical Express et al 12 Sep 2021 15:38 #1

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As I predicted, Optical Express settled Fiona's case soon after my previous post on Friday :kiss:

Fiona is bound by an agreement not to defame Optical Express, but does she need to, as the fact that she took legal action and won says it all!

Meanwhile, yet another pre trial hearing v David Teenan and Optical Express tomorrow - an Optimax patient on the list too!


www.scotcourts.gov.uk/current-business/court-rolls

With many claims already settled, there are lots more cases to be listed in the Scottish courts v DavidTeenan/OE.

Somewhat amusing therefore, that I have another recording from one of my #MBEF clients, in which she asks Teenan about the numbers of his patients she'd heard are suing him.

Somewhat ruffled, he tried to dismiss this fact by replying: 'I can guarantee that none of them will be successful!'

David Teenan was presumably suffering temporary amnesia, as there'd already been a number of successful legal claims against him at that time!
#blindedonthehighstreet
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Fiona Cambell v David Teenan/Optical Express et al 10 Sep 2021 15:43 #2

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Music to my eyes [sic] :kiss:



Unfortunately the complete list of defendants not listed, but be assured it includes Optical Express!

However, I guarantee this will not make it into court (remote hearing), because OE will settle to avoid more bad publicity. But, if by any chance I’m wrong (and I'll update you), y'all are invited to attend!

'If a member of public is interested in watching proceedings then they should email the court explaining why they are interested in watching proceedings and ask for a link for the hearing to be sent to them.'
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Fiona Campbell first contacted me on 5 November 2015, and this is an excerpt from her first message:

"I came across your website [#OERML] completely by chance trying to find some details on an employee of Optical Express – Colin Berry - to follow up on some problems I am currently facing after having lens replacement.*

When first seeing the name of your website my heart sank, then when clicking onto it and reading the articles I felt physically sick.

I think my biggest fears may have been confirmed, ‘Optical Express have ruined my life’.

I am 26 years of age and underwent surgery with David Teenan in St Vincent Street Glasgow in July this year, and since surgery I have had nothing but problems with my eyes.’"


*In fact Fiona had ICLs (as discussed in the two previous posts re Optimax): a perfect example of how little patients understand about the procedures they buy with high pressure sales tactics, not meeting the surgeon until the day of surgery, optoms et al paid commission on sales (and surgeons paid extra if they pass their daily target!)

When one of his many damaged patients asked David Teenan why he hadn't discussed the consent form with her before he operated, he replied: ‘I don't have time…’. Entire consultation recorded, and I have a copy.

NB: Fiona’s legal case has taken a while due to an incompetent legal firm who handled her case until 2019. Taken over by a competent lawyer, the case is almost at its end.

More to come...
#blindedonthehighstreet
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DEVONSHIRES | Hodge Jones & Allen solicitors 24 Dec 2020 15:35 #3

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€1,696,153.84 - what a fantastic result for Hodge Jones & Allen
(solicitor Peter Todd) and #Devonshires (solicitor Karen Cathcart) :kiss:



But definitely not for their 126 unhappy clients fitted with faulty Oculentis lens implants…

Devonshires clients each received £4,500, and HJA clients approx £6,050 - unarguably the WORST out of court Settlement Agreements (SA) I've yet seen for claimants damaged by refractive eye surgery!
(Copy of the 11 page SA posted by one of the claimants below)

Though both amounts an insulting pittance, it should now be of interest to Devonshires clients that HJA clients received almost 25% more than they did!

NB: We do not have 'Class action’ in the UK, ‘Group Litigation’ is the term used to describe collective legal action, yet this was Peter Todd's (HJA) email to me on 6 June 2018:



My 18 & 23 June posts discussed this matter in detail, which lead to both solicitors telling claimants that Oculentis (aka Teleon) might withdraw their offer because I had published, one person even sending a message asking me to take down my posts!

This was utter bullsh*t (or I obviously understand the mentality of this industry better than HJA & Devonshires do!) because I knew full well that Oculentis wouldn’t withdraw their offer.

The truth is, both law firms were desperate for their massive profits from the ‘class action’, because if less than 95% agreed to accept the SA, then Oculentis would withdraw the offer - in my opinion it would have been better for clients had they done so, forcing the lawyers to negotiate a better deal, as other firms have done!

And I have had sight of (and am in possession of) many of the emails and letters both Peter Todd and Karen Cathcart sent to their clients, with warnings not to post on any of my social media sites, not to discuss their details with anyone else in the closed #MBEF group, to delete any comments, and to stop following any of my pages, keeping each claimant isolated and scared they might lose the pittance they eventually received!

Regardless of which, throughout the last year, more than 25% of HJA and Devonshires clients involved in this claim have contacted me with their concerns about the position they found themselves in, and some more recently with concerns about the SA they have been forced to accept.

These are a few of the issues to consider:

1. Many claimants had their surgery at Optegra Eye Hospital, bilateral cost £7,000.
2. Some clients still need explants, bilateral cost approx £7-11,000, depending on choice of surgeon - of course free with nhs.uk!
(When asked by one client if cover of costs for future explants would be included in the SA, Karen Cathcart assured them this was being discussed with Oculentis. Yet this has not been included, and I believe clients may not even have recourse to the Oculentis Patient Pathway after signing this agreement.*)
3. Clients who signed up with Devonshires were assured that their claim would be dealt with on its own merits, definitely not as part of a group. I also have a recording of their Head of Dept (Nick Grant) confirming this to me.
4. HJA joined forces with Devonshires in September 2018, as I was told that Devs were allegedly struggling with the Oculentis cases, whilst Peter Todd had more expertise in this field, aggressively advertising and ambulance chasing clients.
5. Isolated clients who individually disputed this settlement were told by their lawyer that if they didn't accept it their claim would be dropped and they would be billed for legal fees.
5. Many of the clients I have spoken with did not have a medicolegal expert report, many need further expensive medical treatment, yet all received the same amount (as those with same legal representation).
6. Every client should be provided with a 'statute bill of costs', a detailed breakdown of costs showing exactly what the law firms have charged for. Not provided to the claimants who’ve contacted me.

So whilst the bad news is that this is the WORST settlement I have seen to date, and both Peter Todd and Karen Cathcart should be ashamed of themselves, there is some good news!

A number of the 126 clients party to this SA with Oculentis have approached other law firms, who have agreed to look at their initial claim to consider if they’ve been undersettled, with the possibility of taking legal action if they have, whilst a specialist firm is looking at the costs issue, as it's possible clients may be entitled to claim a percentage of this money for themselves.

Complaints are also being made to the Legal Ombudsman.

Be aware, both Devonshires and HJA will read this post, and likely to contact clients concerned, attempt to discredit me, and dissuade you from pursuing this path. (Devs did this previously, after I advised clients to ask for an interim summary of costs before accepting the low settlement offers from Optical Express that they were being pushed to agree to.)

However, no matter what they may tell you, you are legally allowed to share all details with another lawyer should you wish to do so.

You should also send a Subject Access Request to whichever law firm represented you, who are obliged to provide you with ALL correspondence and documentation relating to your claim.

As I told one person who asked me about this a few weeks ago, worried that Devs or HJA would make him give the money back if he talked to another lawyer, they cannot do so, and Oculentis certainly don't want more bad publicity!

For more info contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

*Posted 23 June: ’Yesterday I contacted Oculentis CEO Ben Wanders, asking for details of how #MBEF clients can access this if not currently in litigation. He has failed to respond.

Today I emailed Topcon MD, Andrew Yorke, asking how this will work for many of the 130 people who do, or may in the future, need explants - because once that €1.75m agreement is signed, unless included in its terms, they have no guarantee that this will be paid for.

And I also asked, given that Optegra Eye Hospital chain may be sold, or out of business by the end of 2020,* could he explain how this eventuality would affect their patients who have been assured that Optegra will provide explants that might be needed in the future
.’
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SCREWED OVER BY HODGE JONES ALLEN & DEVONSHIRES SOLICITORS 22 Nov 2020 16:31 #4

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Screwed over by everyone in this OCULENTIS case- My solicitor warned me off posting in Social media & now I know why!!🤬 They didnt want to risk us all talking cos if all of us had got together it would only have took 8 of us to refuse & we could have fought this & solicitor's would have to do better job for us!! I wont say Who was my solicitor in case they ask me for the 4500 pounds back!!!!!


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admin: Pls email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. as I would very much like to speak with you (I guarantee this will be treated in strictest confidence).

NB: Anyone else who was party to this agreement is also invited to contact me, as you may possibly have grounds for a legal claim against these two ambulance chasing law firms, Devonshires and Hodge Jones & Allen
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SMALL CLAIMS COURT 24 May 2017 12:59 #5

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Hello all,

I had Laser eye surgery from OE in April 2010. As many others on here i was told by the sales team that it would last approx 20 years and I would only need off the shelf glasses. I was advised a life time guarantee and free eye tests every 2 years.

Fast forward 5 years (2015) I was told my upcoming eye test i'd have to pay for (which i thought was strange). Follow on another 2 years and my eyes have deteriorated that I actually need glasses again. Having contacted OE where I had the operation done i was referred to head office.

Head office advised I should go to my local store and arrange a free consultation for me. I then got the usually sales brochures as if it was a first time appointment. Upon attending the appointment I was met with a (extremely hard faced) women who told me that because I had the op done previously i'd have to pay £50 upfront for this consultation! Upon advising her of the situation she told me they don't offer any sort of life time guarantee and did I have this in writing. I am normally good and keeping documentation and no contract was given to me from OE at that time. She then referred me back to head office even though i challenged her they had advised me to come here.

I now feel that OE have completely mis-represented the product and service during their sales pitch and I would like to see if anyone on here has had any luck trying to claim their money back with the contract?

SMALL CLAIMS COURT 02 Dec 2014 22:29 #6

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I have experienced much the same as a number of other dissatisfied customers on your site. The bottom line for me is that I paid £3.5k to get vision lasting between 5-10 years. In reality, I had 6 months of pain and multiple return visits before seeing any improvement, which lasted about 6 months then quickly regressed to my original pre operative surgery. I have complained and got fobbed off as seems their usual response. I would like my money back and to let others know what an unprofessional outfit this bunch are....

I cannot believe that there isn't stricter regulation of this industry. Can you help with any advice please?
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SMALL CLAIMS COURT 24 Nov 2014 17:14 #7

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I think this makes sense. I have had a few exchanges with OE now and all have ended in their unwillingness to help or provide a refund. Who can I contact to advise me of what action I can take through the small claims court?
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URGENT REQUEST re RLE problems 19 Jan 2014 14:47 #8

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I have details from many patients who have had problems following RLE surgery at Optical Express and will be submitting their statements (and copies of 'gagging orders') evidencing why Mr Wright is unwilling to risk undergoing an explant at OE, performed by Prof Jan Venter or anyone else, and therefore needs OE to finance surgery with a surgeon he trusts.

If you too have suffered RLE problems at OE, regardless of whether or not you are taking legal action, it would be appreciated if you would contact OERML.

This includes anyone who has undergone an explant at OE or elsewhere.

If you signed a 'gagging order' you can ask a relative to provide details, as any info discussed PRE signing is not confidential or covered by a subsequent agreement.

Pls email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

NB: If Mr Wright can wins his case in the Small Claims Court it will open floodgates for so many of you with the same issue yet unable to take legal action for negligence.
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LEGAL CLAIMS 12 Jan 2014 19:15 #9

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Last year I was contacted by Mr C who suffered unsatisfactory results following RLE surgery @ Optical Express in June 2011.

Mr C's 84 year old mother underwent RLE surgery the same week, both ops performed by Mr Alex George @ Bridgewater Hospital in Manchester following consultations @ Optical Express' store in Bristol's Cabot Centre.

Mr C's mother was given a refund on condition she signed a 'gagging order'. However Mr C wanted an explant and refused to risk his eyesight to one of OE's surgeons a second time, insisting it should be done by a reputable surgeon of his choice, cost approximately £11,000.

NB: Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) means that the patient's own natural lens is removed and replaced with an intraocular lens (IOL ). An explant necessitates a new IOL being replaced in the eye, unquestionably more complicated than the original RLE surgery.

Not constrained by his mother's gagging order, this gave Mr C an advantage in any ensuing legal case against OE: the same surgeon performed the same surgery on two members of the same family and both suffered the same problems!

However, legal action can take years and time is of the essence for an explant, as a delay can make the invasive procedure more complicated and reduce the chances of success.

With my support Mr C embarked on his battle for OE to pay for his surgery with a surgeon he trusted.

2 April 2013: David Mungall sent my client a "Without prejudice" letter agreeing to pay 50% of the explant costs, saying, "In the unusual circumstances of your case...".

(With the same mantra repeated in every "Without prejudice" offers so many of my clients receive - be it a £200 pair of glasses or £11,000 surgery, when do the circumstances stop being "unusual"?)

As Mr C was not in position to pay the other 50% this was not an option, so we fought on, reminding OE that Mr C was not 'gagged' and could therefore advertise both his own problems and his mother's on the internet.

21 June 2013: David Mungall's tag team partner, Stephen Hannan, sent a second "Without prejudice" letter, again chanting "In the unusual circumstances...", but this time agreeing to pay the full cost of treatment + twelve months aftercare for my client, with the surgeon of his choice.

Mr C discussed this with me and I recommended he spoke with a solicitor before signing the agreement - which of course included the famous 'gagging order', because once he signed there was no legal recourse.

December 2013: Mr C underwent RLE explant surgery paid by OE and is now unable to publicise details of his problems with Optical Express. However, I know the details, am not gagged, and am free to speak out.

Btw, a 'gagging order' restricts a person speaking out in public, "Unless required to do so by law".

Coincidentally, whilst helping Mr C I was contacted by Mr Wright who'd suffered the same problems, with the same RLE surgery, performed by the same surgeon, Mr Alex George, this time at the Optical Express Bristol 'store'.

Like Mr C, Mr Wright needs an explant and he asked Optical Express to pay for the same surgeon who treated Mr C. OE refused and said their surgeon Prof Jan Venter could do it just as well (see Craig's Story).

Of course Mr Wright turned down their generous offer and in December paid his own costs for a consultation with the same independent surgeon who performed Mr C's explant.

As he was leaving the clinic in London my client received a call from Optical Express offering him a £2,990 refund for the cost of his original surgery. He immediately called me when I advised him to wait until he received the offer in writing before refusing.

A few days later a letter from David Mungall arrived with the ubiquitous phrase, "In the unusual circumstances..." and of course the requisite 'gagging order'!

Mr Wright is 64 years old, he is not a wealthy man, he cannot afford the additional £8,000 his surgery will cost (plus travel and accommodation), and has already funded two London consultations himself.

Two years ago Mr Wright's wife died of cancer and now he too has cancer. (See David's Story)

Last week I wrote to David Moulsdale advising him that Mr Wright intends to pursue this via the Small Claims Court where I will represent him.

NB: This is not an option for people who are seeking compensation, which must be dealt with by a solicitor.

However, I believe the Small Claims Court may be an effective low cost option for those simply seeking a refund or retreatment costs, and I will be happy to help anyone wishing to pursue this option.
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