A Pennsylvania man was awarded a total of $870,000 after an incident in 2013, when his doctor removed the wrong testicle during surgery. The case results in the first medical malpractice verdict in the immediate area in 25 years.
Not That One, The Other One
In 2013, 54-year-old Steven Hanes from Mount Union, Pennsylvania, went into surgery, hoping to have one of his testicles removed. After years of experiencing chronic pain on his right testicle, Hanes's medical imaging results showed that his right testicle was indeed nearly half the size of the other.
However, Hanes discovered after the procedure that Dr. Valley Spencer Long had removed the healthy left testicle and performed a vasectomy on the right testicle, the one where he had been experiencing pain for years.
After a legal battle, the jury had agreed to award Hanes with a total of $870,000 in damages. Specifically, Hanes was awarded $500,000 lump sum for future pain and suffering, $120,000 for past pain and suffering, and $250,000 in damages against Dr. Long.
A Clear Case From The Beginning
According to Hanes's representing lawyer, the case was clear from the beginning, as Dr. Long was said to have exhibited reckless indifference toward Hanes when he removed the testicle without confirming whether or not it was the right one.
As a result, Hanes now lives with the same painful right testicle, which he wanted to have removed in the first place. His choice lies in deciding to either live with the painful testicle or to go for a treatment that could possibly lead to the removal of his remaining testicle. If his other testicle gets removed as well, Hanes would be left reliant on hormonal treatment for the rest of his life.
Though J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital was also alleged to be liable, the hospital's pretrial memo states that expert reports have yet to be made, which would be critical of the care provided by the medical facility.
Rare Medical Malpractice Case
The case of Hanes and Dr. Long is the first verdict regarding medical malpractice in the west of Harrisburg in Pennsylvania in the last 25 years.
Hanes's legal representation, Braden Lepisto, noted the rarity of this case especially in a location outside of the metropolitan area of the state. He further pointed out that this case shows just how important quality medical care is, even in smaller counties.
"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," said Lepisto.