In January 2015 Optical Express issued legal proceedings against the Daily Mail (Associated Newspapers Ltd) for defamation and malicious falsehood, alleged to have arisen out of an article published online and in the Daily Mail*.
Since then I have repeatedly stated that OE would never let this go to trial!
Sadly I was right, because last Tuesday evening (21 February) OE settled their (approx) £21.5 million claim against Associated Newspapers Ltd - but in my opinion Optical Express blinked first!
In 2014 Optical Express (DCM Holdings Ltd) suffered huge financial losses following a highly publicised trial when Stephanie Holloway was awarded £569,000 (plus 7 yrs interest), her claim won on lack of informed consent alone!
So win or lose, with £21.5 million at stake, the Daily Mail trial would have destroyed OE, with guaranteed and sensational media/press cover!
I will publish more info when I can, but until then I can tell you that it’s not over yet!
Btw, I also predicted that OE would go into administration before the Daily Mail trial...
But this is my dream - that I need your help to make come true
Tell them about the problems you’ve suffered, the withdrawal of lifetime aftercare/free eye tests, or if you were lucky enough not to have surgery, OE’s refusal to refund your deposit...
No matter what your complaint, it all helps build a picture for the producers to understand what's going on here!
Panorama should ask the government why they ignore us, why THREE health ministers have avoided meeting with me since 2013...
And why the GMC and Royal College of Ophthalmologists do nothing - in full knowledge that many thousands of patients continue to have their eyes and lives ruined by this unregulated and corrupt industry - while they stand arm in arm with unrepentant surgeons responsible for causing so much harm to so many of their trusting patients!
A warning that should be heeded by anyone in Holland considering laser eye surgery - and by anyone watching elsewhere, because the problems with all refractive eye surgery procedures are the same in any country where they are performed!
Plenty of reference to Optical Express (no longer trading in Holland) - but disappointingly no acknowledgement of OERML or the UK campaign for government regulation of this scandalous industry!
Other than that, my only criticism concerns the statement from the commentator @ 12.51 mins, claiming that, “eye lasering is purely cosmetic”.
For the last few years I have fought vehemently against anyone describing refractive eye surgery as cosmetic.
IT IS NOT! It is serious and invasive surgery that can leave a person blind at worst
And while many people do have this surgery for ‘cosmetic reasons’ (because they don’t like wearing glasses), the surgery itself is certainly NOT a ‘cosmetic’ procedure.
And for thousands of damaged patients I have personally spoken to over the years (me included) the purpose was definitely not ‘cosmetic', but for convenience and practical reasons.
You cannot possibly compare laser eye surgery with a breast implant or facelift - wonky boobs or an overly stretched smile do not come close to damaged vision, and I defy anyone to find me a refractive surgeon who would take kindly to being described as a ’cosmetic surgeon’!
Listen out for references to Optical Express and Steven Schallhorn
Morris Waxler was the FDA official responsible for approving laser devices in the US, but subsequently announced that this was based on flawed and misleading information.
'The FDA looked at how well patients could read the eye chart in the short-term but dismissed troubling surgical effects such as persistent night vision problems and chronic dry eyes.'
Interviewed for Zembla, Morris says that the FDA was assured that post op problems were temporary and would go away.
Exactly what I was told almost 6 years ago - lies, lies, lies!!
'ZEMBLA examine what are the risks of LASIK eye surgery and patients are fully informed about it?'
Wednesday 21 December @ 21:15 at VARA on NPO2.
Research: Suzan Borst
Directed by: Ton van der Ham
A few months ago Michael Brouwer asked me if I would talk to Zembla researcher Suzan Borst with regard to a planned Dutch TV documentary about Lasik.
Stressing the fact that post op problems affect ALL refractive eye surgery, not only Lasik, I provided Suzan with details of patients damaged at Optical Express clinics in Holland (now closed) and copies of internal documentation, which included email exchanges between Stephen Hannan, surgeons Jan Venter and Erik de Koning, and other staff at the Optical Express Amsterdam clinic.
These emails contain shocking details of an outbreak of serious problems suffered by a number of patients operated on at the Amsterdam clinic over a two day period.
NB: These have not been used by Zembla so I will publish in due course
Although tonight's documentary primarily focuses on Lasik and the US, they have included an interview with one Dutch OE patient. And Suzan assured me that contact details for OERML will be published on the NPO website after broadcast.
'GP Michael Brouwer wears glasses but he finds it more pleasant without, so he let his eyes lasered. After surgery, he has so much pain that he does not know how he continues to live. It feels like there continuously pricked with a knife in his eyes. Brewer appears to have developed nerve pain, a rare but highly debilitating complication, which he had not been warned.
Worldwide millions of people leave their laser eyes. LASIK method is most popular in the Netherlands because you can work almost immediately after this short intervention and driving and you do not have post-operative pain.
With LASIK, a flap cut into the cornea. In addition, many nerves are cut. That usually goes well. According to a study by the ooglaserindustrie even 95.4 percent of patients satisfied. Information leaflets report that potential side effects such as dry eyes or seeing dazzling circles or stripes around light sources over time disappear. But internationally there is a large group of patients who claim to have terrible pain and dry eyes kept from LASIK.'
Congratulations to Michael Brouwer for getting this documentary made... slowly but surely the scandalous truth will out!
And as soon as the documentary is available online (hopefully with English translation) I will post the link!