A judge says she is inclined to dismiss a medical malpractice lawsuit filed against Dr. Paul Nassif, co-host of the E! series “Botched,” that alleged the plastic surgeon performed a procedure that damaged a patient’s eyelid.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Holly Fujie issued a tentative ruling Friday in which she concluded there were no triable issues in plaintiff Eric Klein’s case against Nassif, but she is scheduled to hear arguments Tuesday before issuing a final decision.
According to the lawsuit that Klein filed in January 2016, Nassif performed a rhinoplasty and septoplasty in November 2014 after Klein complained that he was having difficulty breathing. The procedure left Klein with pain in his right eye and problems closing it, according to his lawsuit which alleged Nassif’s conduct fell below the proper standard of medical care.
The eye problem was attributed to the displacement of a tendon under his eye that occurred when his nasal bone was broken during the procedure, the plaintiff alleged.
“At times, Mr. Klein’s eye would not blink at all,” the plaintiff’s lawyers stated in court papers.
In March, Nassif’s attorneys moved for dismissal of the case. They submitted the declaration of Dr. Jonathan Sykes, an expert in otolaryngology and reconstructive surgery who concluded there was no “causative relationship” between Klein’s eyelid problem and the surgery, Fujie wrote in her seven-page tentative ruling.
“The court finds that defendants have met their initial burden of demonstrating that the elements of breach and causation of plaintiff’s cause of action for medical negligence cannot be established,” Fujie wrote.
In contrast, the opinion of Dr. Jeffery Hammoudeh — who said in a sworn statement that he believes Nassif caused the plaintiff’s injury — was based on another physician’s examinations of Klein in 2014 and 2015 that are not in evidence, Fujie wrote. Hammoudeh does not have any personal knowledge of Klein’s medical condition, she added.
Some of Klein’s medical records are “directly contrary” to the opinion formed by Hammoudeh, according to Fujie.
“The court finds that Dr. Hammoudeh’s opinion as to the element of causation to be conclusory and without sufficient evidentiary support,” the judge wrote.
The 55-year-old Nassif co-hosts “Botched” with Dr. Terry Dubrow, who also is a plastic surgeon.
Nassif was previously married to Adrienne Maloof and made appearances on “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” when she was a cast member on that Bravo show.
–City News Service