A Pennsylvania medical malpractice jury awarded a 54-year-old man $870,000 as a result of his surgeon removing the wrong testicle. The defendant surgeon was supposed to remove the man’s right testicle, which was atrophied and scarred due to a previous injury and was painful and half the size of his left testicle, but when the man woke up after surgery, he discovered that the surgeon removed his healthy left testicle and left his right testicle in his body.
The plaintiff had gone to the defendant urologist in May 2013 regarding his painful right testicle. After an ultrasound found the plaintiff’s right testicle had atrophied, the plaintiff chose to undergo surgery that took place on June 11, 2013. The defendant surgeon’s operative report allegedly stated that he did not know if he was removing the patient’s right or left testicle during the surgery.
As a result of removal of the wrong body part, the plaintiff must now either have additional surgery to remove his right testicle, or live his life with his painful right testicle in place. If he decides to have his remaining testicle surgically removed, he would need to have testosterone replacement therapy for the remainder of his life.
The Pennsylvania medical malpractice jury consisted of eleven women and one man. The jury deliberated for one hour and twenty minutes at the conclusion of the three-day medical malpractice trial that took place in mid-June before awarding the plaintiff $250,000 in punitive damages and the balance in compensatory damages. The defendant hospital was accused of failing to implement appropriate policies that would have prevented the harm suffered by the plaintiff.
The plaintiff’s medical malpractice attorney stated that the defense argument was that the testicle the defendant surgeon removed was on the right side of the plaintiff’s scrotum and had a spermatic cord that led to the left side of his body, which would mean that the plaintiff’s testicles switched sides at some point in time. What the defense could not explain was how the defendant surgeon failed to notice that the testicle he removed was larger than the testicle that remained in the plaintiff’s body.
The plaintiff’s experts did not buy the defense argument and the jury’s verdict that was reached in a relatively short period of time reflects that the jury did not accept the defense argument either.
The 77-year-old defendant surgeon is no longer associated with the defendant hospital and is no longer performing surgery. The plaintiff’s medical malpractice lawyers reportedly are representing another medical malpractice plaintiff in a medical malpractice lawsuit against the same surgeon regarding the death of a patient following surgery.
If you had surgery on the wrong side, surgery on the wrong body part, or suffered an unexpected medical outcome following surgery that may be the result of medical negligence, you should promptly seek the advice of a local medical malpractice lawyer in your U.S. state to learn about your rights and responsibilities and whether you may file a claim for compensation for the injuries and harms caused by the surgical malpractice.
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