A Pennsylvania man named Steven Hanes became almost $900,000 richer this week, after a court ruled against a hospital and one of its doctors for removing the wrong testicle during a June 2013 operation.
According to a report from PennLive, Mount Union, Pennsylvania resident Steven Hanes, 54, was awarded a total of $870,000 in damages — $620,000 for “pain and suffering” and $250,000 for “reckless indifference” — on Wednesday, as an 11-woman, one-man jury reached a verdict against the J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital in Huntingdon, and Dr. Valley Spencer Long, the doctor who performed the operation. This marked the first time in over 25 years that a plaintiff was awarded money in a medical malpractice case, the PennLive report added.
In his lawsuit, Hanes claimed that he had been suffering chronic pain in his right testicle, hence his decision to visit Long. Though other options were available to the Pennsylvania man, Long had nonetheless recommended that Hanes receive surgery. However, that’s when things had taken an unexpected turn, as Long had operated on the wrong testicle, removing the healthy left testicle instead of the one on the right side that Hanes was complaining about.
A report from Fox 6 Now suggests that based on medical records, the damaged testicle was about half the size of the healthy one at the time of the operation.
The botched operation, according to Hanes, was tantamount to reckless behavior on Long’s part, as he wasn’t able to properly identify the damaged testicle, and ended up removing the wrong one.
“Steve had the right testicle pain for 15 years before he went to see Dr. Long. He wanted to relieve the pain,” said Hanes’ lawyer, Braden Lepisto.
Court literature also alleges that Long’s post-operative report had detailed what went down in the operation in a matter-of-fact way, stating that the left testicle and cord “may actually have been removed instead of the right one.” This led Lepisto to believe that Long might not have had any clue that the wrong testicle was being removed. Aside from this, Lepisto was quoted by PennLive as saying that his firm is investigating a medical malpractice case, where a patient had died while allegedly being under Long’s care.
Although Long, now 77, is no longer practicing surgery, while Steven Hanes can look forward to the rich settlement from the medical malpractice case, it’s not entirely a happy ending for him, as Lepisto suggested. Hanes’ lawyer said that his client has developed a “debilitating fear” of having another doctor look into his situation, due to the fact he had the wrong testicle removed. And if Hanes does need to have his damaged right testicle taken out, that may lead to years of testosterone replacement therapy for the Pennsylvania man, possibly for as long as he’s alive.