Thursday, January 17, 2008

What the ?

What an odd story. While I don't condone toe licking without a license, I think I would have been a little suspicious when the assistant covered my eyes for the "strip test". Hmm.

Suit alleges patient's toes were licked during eye exam in Skokie

By Jason Meisner

Tribune reporter

12:31 AM CST, January 17, 2008

A woman filed suit Wednesday against a Skokie eye doctor and the doctor's former assistant, alleging the assistant licked her toes during an eye-exam visit last year.

The lawsuit, filed in Cook County Circuit Court by Roman Tesfaye, names the assistant, Joseph Vernell Jr., and the doctor, Tamara Wyse, and seeks in excess of $50,000 in damages for battery and emotional distress.

According to the suit, the incident occurred July 13 when Tesfaye went to the Myers-Wyse Center for the Eye, 4700 Golf Rd. in Skokie, for an exam. After she was escorted into an examination room, Vernell, dressed in surgical scrubs, entered and dimmed the lights.

The suit alleges Vernell then told her he was going to perform a "strip test," and placed a strip over her eyes and told her she must keep her eyes closed for 5 to 7 minutes. He then reclined the examination chair and raised her legs onto another chair, at which point Tesfaye "felt her right shoe fall off," the suit states.

"Ms. Tesfaye felt something touching her toes," according to the suit. "After feeling the toe-touching several times, she opened her eyes and witnessed Mr. Vernell stand up and pull his shirt down."

When she accused him of licking her toes, Vernell allegedly replied, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, but I was checking your sugar level," the suit states.

Tesfaye reported the incident to an administrator, but Wyse refused to discuss what had happened, the suit says. Vernell was eventually fired, the suit says.

Court records show Vernell, of Forest Park, pleaded guilty in August to misdemeanor battery in the incident and was sentenced to 1 year of probation by Circuit Judge Earl Hoffenberg.

No one answered calls to Vernell's home Wednesday night and attempts to reach Wyse were unsuccessful.

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