In a shocking case of medical negligence, a Pennsylvania doctor removed a 54-year-old man’s healthy left testicle instead of his dysfunctional right one. The patient sued the doctor and hospital for damages and a Huntingdon County Jury awarded him $870,000 in the case. This is said to be the first plaintiff’s Medical Malpractice verdict in the county in over two decades.

Wrong testicle removed by doctor

According to Esquire, Stephen Hanes went for testicle removal surgery in 2013 at J.C. Blair hospital. Hanes stated that he had been suffering from severe pain and discomfort on his right testicle. He had endured the pain for years and had finally had tests done to check what was wrong.

The tests revealed that Hanes’ right testicle was just around half the size of his left one, which prompted him to opt for testicle removal surgery on the painful one.

Dr. Valley Spencer Long was scheduled to perform the surgery, known as an orchectomy, on Hanes. After the surgery was over, the patient discovered that the doctor had removed his healthy left testicle and the painful right one was still inside. There were allegations that the doctor removed the testicle without confirming whether it was the right one.

According to Hanes’ lawyer, Braden Lepisto of Kline and Specter, the incorrect surgery has left his client in a vulnerable state. Hanes now has two options. Either he has to live the rest of his life with the painful testicle or he can get it removed and rely on hormone therapy for the rest of his life.

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Both of these options are daunting and that is why the jury offered such a huge sum of money as damages to Hanes.

Damages awarded for wrong testicle removal

The $870,000 award was broken down into $500,000 lump sum for future pain suffered by Hanes. An additional $120,000 was awarded for his past pain and suffering. The remaining $250,000 was awarded as punitive damages to the plaintiff.

Dr. Long’s lawyer Kevin E. Osborne of Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin, did not comment on the verdict. Frank Hartye of McIntyre, Hartye, Schmitt & Sosnowski, the attorneys for the hospital also did not offer any comment.

Lepisto noted that such a verdict is very rare in small counties and are generally only seen in the metropolitan areas. However, he lauded the decision by saying that the verdict would go a long way to prove that medical malpractice cases are taken just as seriously in these smaller regions as they are in the big cities.