Patient Sues Eye Doctor, Claims His Assistant Licked Her Toes

Well, this post is pretty much written—I can’t do better than that. But here are details: a Illinois woman named Roman Tesfaye alleges that when she went for an eye exam this past summer, the assistant, Joseph Vernell Jr., put a strip over her eyes and told her to keep them closed for 5-7 minutes. Then the toe-licking happened.

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.

The lawsuit, which was filed yesterday in Cook County Circuit Court, “seeks in excess of $50,000 in damages for battery and emotional distress.” We suggest consumers wear lace-ups when going to the eye doctor, for their own safety.

“Suit alleges patient’s toes were licked during eye exam in Skokie” [Chicago Tribune]
(Photo: Getty)


Edit Your Comment

  1. javi0084 says:

    Oh wow.

  2. vildechaia says:


  3. vildechaia says:


  4. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    He was tasting her sugar level?

  5. snoop-blog says:

    i wonder how many other women that will come foward now that she is standing up to the toe-tounger

  6. MercuryPDX says:

    This would be an example of “violation” and “sexual battery”.

  7. JayXJ says:

    @AlteredBeast: Yes, apparently a high sugar level changes the flavor of toejamb.

  8. ClayS says:

    She ought to be suing the assistant, not the eye doctor.

  9. Adam Hyland says:

    “I’ll just lick her toes during this routine eye exam. she can’t SEE me without her glasses. It’s FOOLPROOF!”

  10. Adam Hyland says:

    @ClayS: the doctor is the one with the bigger malpractice insurance, and if it was a physician owned clinic, he is responsible for the assistant in this case. Just like a suit regarding an employer over the malfeasance of an employee.

  11. snoop-blog says:

    you better be extremely hot for me to put my mouth anywhere near your feet.

  12. ClayS says:

    I know, she couldn’t get as money by suing the assistant. $50K for getting your toes licked? Not bad for a couple of minutes of wierdness. Where do I sign up?

  13. ClayS says:


    No one is that hot in my experience.

  14. s35flyer says:

    who wants to lick dirty toes, yuck

  15. GitEmSteveDave says:

    In NY, they measure your rectal tone with a gloved finger, and in Chicago, they measure your glucose levels by licking your toes. Ancient Chinese Secret?

  16. LilKoko says:

    I don’t want to give anyone any ideas, but hey, we’re all adults here. Quite a few men have that fetish!

  17. LilKoko says:

    Now, boys and girls, do we finally understand? It’s not right to touch people who don’t want to be touched in places they don’t want to be touched by people they don’t want touchin’ ’em.


  18. 92BuickLeSabre says:

    You know, at least “salt level” would have been a bit more believable.

  19. girly says:

    If it was me, when the licking began is also when the kicking would have begun.

  20. CumaeanSibyl says:

    @LilKoko: You’d think it wasn’t a difficult concept…

  21. bohemian says:

    How much was the lawsuit for the construction worker anal rape case compared to the eye doctor assistant toe fetish.

  22. NoStyle says:

    Outrageous. When I go to the dentist, and I remove my clothes and get into the restraints, as I hang there upside down and blindfolded, I expect some degree of professionalism from the women who are pouring agave syrup on me.

  23. Fry says:

    @ClayS: Experience or opinion…?

  24. NoStyle says:

    OOps I said dentist instead of eye doctor. Same deal though. Go in, get naked, screaming, then I get a candy.

  25. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:



  26. Phildawg says:

    wow im in the wrong business!

  27. ceejeemcbeegee is not here says:

    He then reclined the examination chair and raised her legs onto another chair and THWACK ::KICK to the FACE!::

    @girly: Unfortunately, then the assistant could have sued the patient for something…

  28. eww…even I worry about hoof and mouth disease

    thats nizzity nasty

  29. forgottenpassword says:

    You know…. i once had a nurse tell me that doctors can be the most bizare-fetished people (she dated a lot of doctors). Her theory was that they have to be so straightlaced & proffessional all day that they go apeshit when they take the doctor uniform off & really let go.

    SHe compares them to japanese salary-men who basically do the same thing….. & we all know that the japanese are the end-all-beat-all of the most bizarre fetishes (& classifications of fetishes) that there is.

  30. Dustbunny says:

    Wonder why the assistant didn’t try to get a job in a podiatrist’s office? What a heel!

  31. Imaginary_Friend says:

    That’s so messed up, poor woman and all, but this is the funniest thread evar.

    Post toematic stress disodor.

  32. CumaeanSibyl says:

    @ClayS: If she tried to sue the assistant, the doctor’s insurance would probably kick in anyway, since he works there.

    And honestly, $50K is a pretty small award. I think that’s the minimum amount you need to sue for to get yourself taken seriously.

  33. 92BuickLeSabre says:

    @forgottenpassword: Foot fetishes are bad enough, but apeshit? That sounds positively horrible.

  34. BeastMasterJ says:

    Boooooooo, Creepy Eye Doctor!
    Hooraaaay, Beer!

    Seriously, it took this long for a redstripe reference?

  35. Cyfun says:


  36. Cyfun says:

    Dr. Tran’s just passing out the HOT LICKINGS!

  37. sophiapatrillo says:

    i don’t know about anyone else, but i’m strangely turned on by the toe sticking out of the raggedy sock…

  38. SacraBos says:

    @ceejeemcbeegee: Made me think of the sketch about Tai Kwon Leap – Boot To The Head ->Thump<-

  39. Consumerist Moderator - ACAMBRAS says:

    You’d think he’d be a podiatrist, a shoe salesman, or a pedicurist…

  40. alhypo says:

    You know, she never actually witnessed him licking her toes. When she sat up and accused him of licking, he was probably all like, “Oh… licking!… Yes, I was licking you toes. Sorry about that.”

    Whatever he was doing, did it really not occur to him that she most likely has a sense of touch? He should have asked her to keep her eyes closed for 5 minutes and to ignore any tactile sensations.

  41. manok says:

    some people pay good money for that stuff. She actually owes him money.

  42. darkclawsofchaos says:

    @forgottenpassword: tentacle porn/rape… Japan only, home of the first otakus

  43. polyeaster says:

    Ewww…maybe he thought that not seeing it would somehow deaden her sense of gross factor…>shudders<

  44. Parting says:

    Was she wearing sandals?
    I mean, I don’t take off shoes during eye exam…

  45. WhatsMyNameAgain says:

    I’ll bet he’s not even a real doctor! IN FACT! I’ll bet she wasn’t even a real patient!!!

    “Hi, I’d like a Number 3 with extra pickles.”
    “Of course! Just step inside my office and let’s see what seems to be the problem! Just look into this and tell me what letters you see……. Then.. cover your eyes…. and….. yea, just like that…. take this little guy off… yep, and the sock… and……… mmmmmmmmm….””


    I’ll bet a cold crisp dollar that it went down a little something like that.

  46. Szin says:

    You know, I hate when the phrase “Emotional Distress” is used in cases like this. On the other hand, some creep was licking her toes to check her sugar level.

    …Yeah, I’d be a little emotionally distressed to, I guess.

  47. backbroken says:

    @sophiapatrillo: Good. I thought I was the only one licking the screen.

  48. IrisMR says:

    Pffft… WHAT? Damn! This is hilarious and absolutely wrong at the same time.

    Hope he gets fired though. I know if I was his boss I wouldn’t be able to look straight at that guy from now on.

    But shouldn’t she sue the assistant and not the doctor?

  49. BadBadKitty says:

    OK call me jaded but is she sure it was his tongue on her toes ?
    I mean if he was pulling his shirt down ..

  50. IrisMR says:

    @BadBadKitty: …Well he didn’t deny it when she said he licked them SOOoooo…

    …maybe he was rubbing himself too uh?

  51. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    Holy crap!

  52. Anitra says:

    My best guess is that this woman has diabetes. Why else would the doctor think she wouldn’t be able to feel… whatever he was doing to her toes, and then make the excuse about “blood sugar level” ?

    Still, creepy and weird.

  53. bluebuilder says:

    How do you even prove something like that?

  54. Ghede says:

    I know they used to drink piss to test sugar levels, but this is ridiculous. The only way you would be able to taste sugar on the skin is if you are treating a gingerbread man.

  55. weakdome says:

    Wait. What man pulls his shirt DOWN and not UP?
    Seriously. The big opening is at the bottom. It gets all stretched out of shape if you pull it DOWN over your shoulders. If it’s a button-up shirt… you UN BUTTON it – you still don’t pull it DOWN. That’s quite awkward.

  56. LeJerque says:

    @weakdome: I think it’s being implied that the shirt *was* pulled up, while Dr. Tongue was doing whatever it was he was doing. When the patient caught him, he quickly pulled it back down, as if to pretend nothing was wrong.

    And clearly, nothing was wrong. He was checking her eyesight by verifying the sugar level in her toes, which as any doctor can tell you, may only be effectively done by exposing the tiny sugar receptors present in one’s chest hair.

    You wouldn’t understand. It’s SCIENCE.

  57. Nemesis_Enforcer says:

    I have a friend who is into feet. He goes to parties where they have like 5 girls and 30 guys. They pay the girls to do whatever to thier feet. Its really weird especially from the pics I saw most of the women were not pretty, but supposedly they have pretty feet. Ehh whatever I think its nasty but he is all over it.

  58. lostalaska says:

    That’s the beauty of science, it’s whatever we want it to be…

    Yeah, my old eye exam place had warning signs in the lobby to watch out for rogue toe suckers.

  59. weakdome says:

    I knew a lady who taught in Nepal, she said one of her students would follow her around (they all wore sandals) and when she turned her back he would lie down on the ground and lick her feet. Guess it starts early.

  60. @weakdome: That’s hilarious–it’s like he was a little Nepalese ghost from Super Mario Bros.