Kentucky jury rules for doctor in penis amputation suit

LOUISVILLE, Ky Wed Aug 24, 2011 7:36pm EDT

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LOUISVILLE, Ky (Reuters) - A Kentucky doctor acted properly when he amputated part of a truck driver's penis after finding cancer during what was expected to have been a routine circumcision surgery in 2007, a jury found on Wednesday.

Phillip Seaton, 64, had sought $16 million in damages against Dr. John Patterson for performing the partial amputation after he discovered a cancerous tumor on Seaton's penis during the surgery, which had been expected to uncover a fungal infection.

Jurors in Shelby County Circuit Court about 30 miles east of Louisville quickly reached a verdict in favor of Patterson, a Frankfort, Kentucky, doctor.

The jury of six men and six women ruled unanimously against a claim that Patterson failed to exercise proper care. They also ruled 10-2 against a claim that Seaton hadn't consented to the amputation.

Seaton, from Mount Eden, Kentucky, declined to comment after the verdict. His lawyer, Kevin George, said he planned to appeal.

A surgeon cannot change the agreed upon procedure "unless the patient's health is in immediate danger, unless he's in danger of dying immediately on the table," George said.

A key question in the case was whether Patterson should have awakened Seaton and asked for permission to make the amputation. Doctors testifying as medical experts on both sides disagreed on whether an immediate amputation was necessary.

Seaton and his wife, Deborah, had earlier settled with Jewish Hospital Shelbyville and with an anesthesiologist. Terms of those settlements were not disclosed.

(Additional reporting by Steve Robrahn; Editing by Cynthia Johnston)

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Comments (15)
akcoins wrote:
Sometimes I just can’t believe what some Southerners do. They probably ruled against the guy just because they are against trial lawyers. Southerns don’t like unions either. They would rather work for minimum wage with no health plan or paid vacation. If they and the Koch brothers have their way the middle class in this country is not long for this world.

Aug 24, 2011 7:50pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
isolate wrote:
Good for the jury! This case was such a transparent extortion attempt by an illiterate layabout it should never have been allowed into court. The grounds for tossing it would have been that the plaintiff had no standing because, had the surgery not been performed, he never would have been alive to present his claim.

Aug 24, 2011 8:00pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
nosmtrthanu wrote:
so the doc removes a chunk of cancer and the guy figures at 64 a missing piece of killer penis….sorry i had to….is worth 16 million dollars?
stupid crap like this is why nothing important moves through the courts faster than a snails pace. yay jury on this one.

Aug 24, 2011 8:18pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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