The NYPD cop tells her she's being followed.
Well, yes, she knew that.
That's why she flagged down the cop in the first place.
You see, she's blind in one eye.
I'll tell you how she came to be blind in just a moment.
She was doing some errands that required her to drive around town.
Yes, she still drove.
Yes, it was dangerous.
Yes, she shouldn't have been driving, but that's a topic for another day.
You see, she lived in Brooklyn.
She worked as a home health aide.
During the week, she worked for one or two elderly patients.
She'd attend to them. Help bathe them. Take them to the store and to the doctor.
She'd help them with their daily activities and she enjoyed doing this.
One day she was accompanying her elderly patient to a doctor's appointment.
They were taking a van to the appointment. En route, the van crashed into another car.
She went flying in the car and hit her head. Her patient was also thrown around with minor injuries.
Ironically, this car crash happened directly in front of a municipal hospital in Queens New York.
Nurses from the emergency room came out with a stretcher and literally walked them across the street into the emergency room.
Since she had head trauma, she got a full trauma workup that included x-rays and CAT scan of her head.
After a few hours, the emergency room physician told her everything was normal and she could go home.
In reality, everything was not normal.
Over the next 7-8 months, this home health aide began to notice that vision in one of her eyes was slowly getting worse. It was blurry. She thought she was simply getting older. She didn't think much of it. Except, by the ninth month her vision got really bad.
She went to her eye doctor who immediately sent her off to have diagnostic imaging tests including a CAT scan and an MRI.
She was told to come into the office to discuss the results.
The eye doctor shared some terrible news.
You have a tumor in your brain that is compressing your optic nerve that controls vision in your eye. That's why you are losing your vision. You need to see a surgeon immediately.
"By the way, did you have any x-rays, CAT scans or MRIs of your head in the past year or two?" The eye doctor asked her as a throwaway question as the patient was walking out of her office.
“As a matter of fact, I did.” She then relayed the story of how she got into the car crash while taking her patient to a doctor's visit.
That prompted her eye doctor to get copies of the CAT scan as well as the radiology report that was done in the municipal hospital in Queens.
The next conversation she had with her eye doctor was brutally honest and very upsetting.
“I got your CAT scan images from the hospital along with the radiology report. When you were in the car crash nine months ago, the tumor was clearly visible on this CAT scan. At that time, you had no vision problems. You can see on the CAT scan that it was not large enough and was not yet starting to compress your optic nerve.
If you had been sent to a surgeon to have the tumor removed at that point, you never would have lost your vision."
That was the impetus to start a lawsuit against the hospital and emergency room staff for violating the basic standards of medical care causing her to go blind in one eye.
Our ophthalmology expert confirmed exactly what the patient's eye doctor had told her.
They saw the tumor on the CAT scan and then failed to tell the patient about it. Ever.
The hospital staff and the Emergency Room attending and the Radiology attending physician dropped the ball. Big time.
During the course of my client's lawsuit I suspected and anticipated that the defense attorney for the hospital would hire a private investigator to try and videotape her doing her daily activities.
Trying to catch an injured victim doing activities they claim they cannot do is a tried-and-true defense tactic in the civil lawsuits here in New York.
My client knew that there was a good possibility the defense would try and capture doing her daily activities.
Interestingly, she never claimed she was unable to drive even though it was extremely risky because she no longer has any peripheral vision.
Getting back to the beginning of this story I started out by telling you that she was being followed...
She noticed the van following her down the street as she ran her errands.
Every time she turned the corner, the van followed.
This went on for a period of time that had her very worried.
Finally, out of frustration and concern she managed to flag down a passing police car.
She quickly told him that the van behind her was following her. The police officer pulled over the driver of the van and began interrogating him.
10 minutes later the police officer came back to my client and apologized on his behalf.
He told her that the guy in the van was a private investigator who was hired to follow her and videotape her. He tells her he's doing nothing illegal and has no choice but to let him go.