• Eight-Month Erection Spurs Medical Malpractice Suit
  • July 19, 2013
  • Law Firm: Shapiro Lewis Appleton Duffan P.C. - Virginia Beach Office
  • Most people who watch any television have heard the word, “For erections lasting longer than 4 hours, get immediate medical help,’ on various erectile dysfunction drug advertisements.

    But, what about the patient who had an ED treatment that was not a drug but rather was a penile implant? And what if that erection didn’t last a mere four hours but eight long months? What would you do? Daniel Metzgar from Neward DE decided to sue his surgeon for medical malpractice.

    In 2009, Metzgar had a three piece implant inserted by his urologist, Thomas Desperito. After the procedure, his scrotum swelled far beyond its normal size. Metzgar thought that the condition was only temporary so he did not call the doctor.

    Four months after the operation, he went to the hospital and reported that he had an infection and his erection would not go down. The hospital did tests that showed that the swelling of the scrotum led to the long term erection.

    In 2010, the patient had his scrotum punctured by a tube and the first implant was taken out. A second device was implanted by a different doctor.

    In the malpractice lawsuit, Metzgar states that he was in great pain and was humiliated after his first surgery. Due to the erection, he could not ride his motorcycle, wear regular clothes, or participate in family activities. He noted that he found it hard to dance with his wife. “It’s not something that you want to bring out at parties and show your friends,’ he said.

    However, the verdict came down and it cleared Desperito of wrongdoing. The jury found that the defense was right: That bad outcomes can occur when the doctor is not at fault. The jury could not determine that the doctor had done anything that had caused the bad results.

    Actually, this is not that surprising. Recent statistics indicate that only 50% of medical malpractice trials involved mistakes made by surgeons, and 33% were caused by doctors who were not surgeons. That leaves 17% where the there was an undetermined cause for the medical problem.

    Shapiro, Lewis, Appleton & Favaloro is a Virginia personal injury law firm that often blogs and handles cases involving medical malpractice suits.