April 29, 2009 - $750,000 for Girl Who Lost Eye

A 9-year-old girl who lost an eye to retinal cancer was spared from having to take the witness stand against doctors who failed to spot the disease, as her mother settled the case for $750,000, according to court records.

Maya Thomas' mother, Judy Cruz, agreed to the settlement Monday following a week of testimony about how the girl was just 6 months old when she began developing a problem with her right eye, but never received proper treatment.

Maya, who now has a glass eye, was eventually diagnosed with retinoblastoma, and her eye was removed when she was 1-1/2 years old.

As a result of the settlement, Children's and Women's Physicians of Westchester and Dr. John Harrington must pay $650,000, and Montefiore Hospital must dole out $100,000, the court papers show. Cruz originally sued for $10 million.

The mother had maintained that she repeatedly told Harrington that her infant daughter's right eye was turning in, but that he refused to give her a referral to an ophthalmologist.

The administrator for Children's and Women's Physicians did not return a call seeking comment, and a Montefiore spokesman declined comment.

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