Steven Hanes, a 54-year-old man from Pennsylvania, received $870.000 after suing his doctor for malpractice. The jury came to this decision after Hanes went through a vasectomy in the wrong testicle.

Hanes suffered from chronic pain in the right testicle for years, so it had to be removed.  He finally had surgery in 2013, but the doctor removed the healthy testicle and left his patient in a much worse condition. Hanes started a legal battle for the damages he suffered. In accordance to his lawyer, the case was pretty much defined from the very start.

Jury awarded $870.000 to a man over a case of malpractice. Image credit: AP /
Jury awarded $870.000 to a man over a case of malpractice. Image credit: AP /


“Steve had the right testicle pain for 15 years before he went to see Dr. Long. He wanted to relieve the pain,” Braden Lepisto, Hanes’s lawyer, said. “Four years later Steve continues to have the pain. He’s had more frequent pain.”

Hanes still lives with the same pain 

Hanes, a man from the Mount Union, Pennsylvania, had suffered from chronic pain in his right testicle due to it being almost half the size of the other one. He went to see Dr. Valley Spencer Long, a 77-year-old urologist, and they agreed to perform surgery to remove the damaged testicle. However, after the medical procedure, Hanes found out that Dr. Spencer removed the wrong one.

He then introduced a lawsuit for malpractice. He was represented by Attorney Braden Lepisto, who said that this case draws attention to the importance of quality medical care.

The case of Hanes is the first verdict regarding medical malpractice in the last 25 years in the west of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

“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.

Hanes also said that removing his testicle, despite Dr. Long’s suggestion, wasn’t extremely necessary as he later found out there were less invasive treatments.

The doctor should have noticed which one was the healthy testicle

Lepisto said that the case was very clear since Dr. Long said that he was indifferent towards Hanes when he removed his testicle because he didn’t check if it was, in fact, removing the right testicle. He should have noticed for the appearance which was the testicle he had to remove. Therefore, the jury – which was formed by 11 women and a man – agreed to grant Hanes a total amount of $870.000 in damages. Specifically, he received $500,000 lump sum for future pain and suffering, $120,000 for past pain and suffering, and $250,000 in damages against Dr. Long.

Now, Hanes lives without a testicle while he still suffers from the same one, so he might have to spend the rest of his life on a hormonal treatment that could also lead to the removal of the remaining one.

Source: Tech Times