A man in Pennsylvania won a total of $870,000 after undergoing an operation in 2013 where the doctor removed the wrong testicle. This is the first medical malpractice verdict in the vicinity in 25 years.
Steven Hanes, a 54-year-old from Mount Union in Pennsylvania, went into surgery in 2013 to have one of his testicles removed, Tech Times reports. Hanes had been experiencing chronic pain in his right testicle, and medical tests showed that his right testicle was nearly half the size of the left one.
After the procedure, Hanes discovered that attending surgeon Dr. Valley Spencer Long had cut out the healthy left testicle, and had performed a vasectomy on the right one, which was the painful testicle.
A prolonged court battle finally ended with a jury awarding Hanes $870,000 in damages: $500,000 for future pain and suffering, $120,000 for past pain and suffering, and $250,000 in damages against Long.
Hanes’ attorney, Braden Lepisto, said that the case was clear from the beginning, saying that Long has exhibited reckless indifference towards Hanes by removing the testicle without confirming if it was the right one. As a result of the procedure, Hanes now lives with the same painful testicle, and will have to decide if he wants to live with it or have it removed. If he chooses to get it removed, Hanes will be left to rely on hormonal treatment for the rest of his life.
JC Blair Memorial Hospital, where the operation took place, was also allegedly liable, but an investigation and report into the care the hospital provided is yet to be made.
Lepisto said that the rarity of this case, especially in a location outside a metropolitan area, shows how important the quality of medical care is, specifically in smaller counties. He said, “The verdict shows that even in counties where there are limited options for medical care, appropriate and competent care still is demanded by the community.”