Barbara Zaragoza 4:30 p.m., May 25
Mitt Romney's brother-in-law, a GOP convention delegate, named in San Diego medical malpractice case
Carlsbad eye surgeon James A. Davies, the younger brother of Ann Romney, tonight's main speaker at the Republican convention that is set to nominate her husband Mitt for the presidency, has been sued for medical malpractice in San Diego Superior Court.
Davies, who is medical director of the Davies Eye Center on Laguna Drive in Carlsbad, is also a Romney delegate from California at this week's GOP shindig in Tampa Bay, Florida.
The San Diego lawsuit, brought by Suzon Dellinger this May 25, alleges that Davies and other employees of his clinic were responsible for her loss of vision in one eye after she was referred there for treatment of "symptoms of irritation, itchiness and filmy discharge in her eye."
"Specifically," the complaint says, "Defendants Melissa A. [Kleman], James A. Davies and other Davies Eye Center physicians, nurses and healthcare providers, acted negligently when [Kleman], an optometrist, failed to properly treat plaintiff and failed to properly monitor and follow up with Plaintiff regarding her condition.
"Rather, Kleman scheduled Plaintiff for a follow-up visit 10 days later, by which time Plaintiff's medical condition worsened.
"As a result of Defendants’ negligent actions and omissions, Ms. Dellinger developed glaucoma in the treated eye and had to undergo surgery.
"Ms. Dellinger is now 80% blind in that eye and will suffer permanent loss of vision."
In an August 9 answer to Dellinger's complaint, attorneys for Davies and the other defendants in the case denied that "they were negligent in any fashion with respect to the damages, losses, injuries, and debts claimed by the plaintiff."
In addition, the response alleged, Dellinger "failed to exercise ordinary care on her own behalf, which negligence and carelessness was a legal cause of some portion, up to and including the whole thereof, of the injuries and damages complained of in this action."
An attorney for Dellinger confirmed that her lawsuit is proceeding but otherwise reserved comment.
We have a call in to attorneys for Davies, as well as to his office, for further response.
According to a profile on the website of the Davies Eye Center, Davies graduated from Brigham Young University "with High Honors with Distinction and with the University Scholar designation, and was elected to the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society."
He received his medical degree with honors in 1981 from Wayne State University School of Medicine.
In addition, according to the site, he was the "first surgeon in San Diego to use the VISX Excimer laser to reshape the cornea and remove corneal scars (1995)."
Though many reports say that the elder Davies was not religious during his life, his son was quoted by Gawker.com as saying his father did indeed have a spiritual side.
"Dad had faith in God, or a higher power, or something much bigger than himself, but saw organized religion as something man-made. Does that sound like a 'committed atheist' or a 'resolute atheist'?"
According to Romney biographers Michael Kranish and Scott Helman, authors of The Real Romney, Mitt Romney's father George, the late Michigan governor and GOP presidential hopeful, guided Ann Davies - James's sister and Mitt's future wife - through the elaborate Mormon conversion process over the initial opposition of Ann's father, Edward.
"Ann’s younger brother, Jim Davies, said their father had relented based on the trust he had in his daughter and the admiration he had for George Romney," write Kranish and Helman.
And it was Mitt Romney who convinced James Davies to convert, the two authors say.
"Thanks largely to Mitt Romney, in less than one year the entire progeny of Edward Davies had joined the Mormon faith.”