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Pitching great sues Jupiter eye doctor

Associated Press
Published May 30, 2004

WEST PALM BEACH - Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Palmer is suing a Jupiter doctor, accusing him of damaging the vision in his left eye during cataract surgery.

Palmer, a television and radio broadcaster for the Orioles, is seeking an unspecified amount of damages.

In a malpractice lawsuit filed May 18 in Palm Beach County, Palmer accuses ophthalmologist Tom Coffman of causing his retina to become detached after the 2001 cataract surgery, then failing to quickly diagnose the problem.

Despite surgery in 2002 to repair the detached retina, Palmer still suffers from glare and reduced vision in his left eye, according to the suit.

Palmer, 58, referred questions to his attorney.

Boca Raton attorney Gary Cohen said Palmer has problems with glare, distance vision and depth perception that can't be corrected with glasses.

"He plays a lot of golf and has a problem hitting the ball the way he used to," Cohen said. "The problem is also affecting his broadcasting as he is always misreading the number on the scoreboard and having to be corrected on air."

Coffman would not discuss details of Palmer's surgery, citing federal patient privacy laws.

"My greatest concern is the health of my patients," Coffman said Friday. "His treatment was appropriate, and he was very well taken care of."

Palmer, a three-time Cy Young Award winner, was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1990 after 19 seasons with Baltimore.

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