CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

Utah eye doctor being sued for millions, plaintiffs say he performed surgery without a license

Oct 14, 2019, 6:52 PM | Updated: Dec 30, 2022, 11:27 am
(Stock photo)...
(Stock photo)
(Stock photo)

SALT LAKE CITY – Ten million dollars, plus punitive damages.  That’s what attorneys are asking for in their lawsuit against a Utah eye doctor who they claim was performing surgeries without a license.  They also claim the doctor targeted undocumented immigrants who may be too afraid to talk to investigators.

Attorneys for the plaintiff in this case, Robert Arias, say he visited Dr. Paul Wade Wyatt for cataract surgery at the end of last year.  He had tried to sign up for the surgery at a local clinic, but, he would have had to wait between one to two years to have it done, there.  Plus, Wyatt was reportedly offering to do the same service for a fraction of what other doctors were charging.

However, Arias’ attorney, Dustin Lance, says, “The surgery that he performed has been described by some of the follow-up doctors as being a ‘third-world surgery’ that isn’t even performed in the United States any more.”

Lance claims Wyatt botched the first procedure, and his client had a wide range of problems after that.

“He put the wrong lens in [my client’s] eye.  Then, there was another surgery to remove the incorrect lens.  Then, there was another surgery to place the correct lens.  Then, there was another surgery to attempt to address the problems,” Lance says.

Now, Arias is blind in his right eye, and he can’t work as a laborer the way he needs to.  Lance says it’s possible Arias may have to lose his eyeball, completely.

Even though the lawsuit is asking for $10 million, Lance is doubtful they will get it.  He says their main goal is to get Wyatt to stop.  They claim the doctor has lost his license in Utah, Wyoming and Minnesota.  Earlier this year, state records show Wyatt surrendered his license in Utah due to violating his probationary license by performing surgical procedures.

Attorneys believe Wyatt has more possible victims, however, these victims may be undocumented and too afraid to come forward.  Immigration attorney Ysabel Lonazco is trying to convince them not to be. “There are immigration remedies for you if you have been a victim of these type of surgeries by Dr. Wyatt,” she says.

Lonazco says the “U Visa” was specifically designed for people who are willing to help law enforcement as they investigate other crimes.

She says, “It’s a victim visa, allowing them to remain in the country, legally, then adjust their status for legal residence in the United States.”

Both KSL and The Deseret News have made calls to Wyatt’s office in Utah, but those calls haven’t been returned.  In 2016, a GoFundMe account was set up for Wyatt, saying he and his family were the victims of “a clever campaign of lies and deceit” and that his competition convinced a medical board in Wyoming to pull his license.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

Crime, Police + Courts

Five former Memphis police officers who were fired for their actions during the arrest of Tyre Nich...
Eric Levenson, Melissa Alonso and Chris Boyette, CNN

Five former Memphis police officers indicted on charges of murder

The former officers were each charged with second-degree murder and aggravated assault among other charges.
1 day ago
White carnations representing each of the 1,746 unborn babies that were aborted in Utah in 2022 are...
Allessandra Harris and Simone Seikaly

Speeches, silence, during Pro-Life Utah memorial at the Capitol

About 100 people including Utah lawmakers and religious leaders attended the memorial on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023.
1 day ago
School Shooting Newport News...
Aya Elamroussi, Chris Boyette, Dakin Andone and Michelle Watson, CNN

School board votes to cut ties with superintendent weeks after 6-year-old allegedly shot teacher

Administrators were warned that the child had a gun the day when a teacher was shot at the front door of Richneck Elementary School
1 day ago
Crash totals...
Mark Jones

UHP: Semi rollover in Juab County has claimed at least one life

The Utah Highway Patrol says a semi rollover has resulted in the death of at least one person.
2 days ago
Photo from the National Transportation Safety Board investigation into a fatal crash at the Provo a...
Waverly Golden

Investigation of fatal accident at Provo airport includes witness statements

A crash at the Provo airport left one dead and three passengers with injuries on Jan. 2, 2023, an investigation reveals witness statements of the incident.
2 days ago
A fatal crash on Northbound Mountain View Corridor has caused...
Waverly Golden

Fatal crash on Mountain View Corridor causes significant delays

The West Valley City Police Department said a fatal crash on Northbound Mountain View Corridor has caused significant delays.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...
Macey's

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
Utah eye doctor being sued for millions, plaintiffs say he performed surgery without a license