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

Oct 14, 2019, 6:52 PM | Updated: 7:37 pm
(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.

Today’s Top Stories


Protesters hold signs and chant at the Utah Capitol in Salt Lake City on Friday, June 24, 2022, as ...
Curt Gresseth

Utah women’s reproductive-health doctor weighs in on Roe v. Wade ruling

A Salt Lake City doctor who specializes in women's reproductive health care weighs in on the Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade.
21 hours ago
President Joe Biden speaks at the White House in Washington, Friday, June 24, 2022, after the Supre...

Biden calls abortion ruling ‘a sad day’ for country

He said the court has done what it's never done before in taking away a constitutional right that is so fundamental to so many Americans.
21 hours ago
salt lake mayorMendenhall guns...
Curt Gresseth

After NY law is struck down, two Utah experts sound off on gun rights

Two advocates on either side of the gun-control vs. gun rights debate sound off on the Supreme Court's 6-3 ruling to expand the right to carry a firearm in public.
2 days ago
gun rights Utah abortion Boston Christian flag...
JESSICA GRESKO Associated Press

Supreme Court expands gun rights, striking down New York limits

The justices' 6-3 decision is expected to allow more people to legally carry guns on the streets of the nation's largest cities.
2 days ago
Petito lawsuit...
Maria Cartaya, CNN

A Florida judge is expected to make a decision in coming weeks on a lawsuit by Gabby Petito’s parents

Petito, whose disappearance last summer gripped the nation, was found dead in Wyoming after embarking on a cross-country trip with Laundrie, her fiance.
2 days ago
emotional abuse moab police petito domestic violence strangulation gabby petito investigation...
Amie Schaeffer

Wednesday’s hearing in Petito case to determine if suit will move forward

The wrongful death lawsuit in the Gabby Petito case was filed by Petito's parents in March of 2022. A hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
Follow @ikeyospe...

Tax Tuesday: The Most Common Mistakes People Make When Filing Their Taxes

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
Follow @ikeyospe...

Tax Tuesday: How will last year’s child tax credits affect you?

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
Utah eye doctor being sued for millions, plaintiffs say he performed surgery without a license