Medical malpractice cases can be difficult to read about, and for some, this one may be more difficult than others. A DeKalb County Georgia man successfully sued after he said he suffered permanent scarring damage to his penis following a series of treatments for erectile dysfunction.
John Henry Howard, 53 of Ellenwood, was awarded more than $9 million dollars, $8.5 million in punitive damages and $750,000 in compensatory damages in his lawsuit against the Boston Men’s Health Center, Inc.
According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the Boston Men’s Health Center is based in Altamont Springs, Florida and operates 22 clinics in the United States and Puerto Rico under the name Boston Medical Group. According to the company’s website, it treated 30,000 men last year for problems and complications related to male sexual dysfunction.
This is not the first lawsuit for Boston Medical Group, who have not yet decided whether or not they will appeal by the November 4th deadline. Apparently the group, which operates at least six more clinics overseas, has faced similar legal trouble once before in Georgia and in Texas. Both suits were settled out of court for an undisclosed sum. Further, the Better Business Bureau says it received two complaints against the company in the past three years, but that both were resolved.
In the trial, which lasted six days, Howard, a trucker, testified how he first went to Boston Medical Group’s Atlanta clinic in 2006 to receive assistance with erectile dysfunction. He testified that he was given injections in his penis with a proprietary formula that included papaverine, a drug used to improve blood flow.
But according to Chad Ritenour, an assistant professor of urology at the Emory University School of Medicine and the director of the Men’s Health Center at Emory, papaverine can also cause some unpleasant consequences. One of these consequences is priaprism, a condition present when an erection lasts longer than four hours. According to Ritenour, and to Howard’s testimony, repeated injections of the drug can cause scarring at the injection site.
According to his testimony, Howard purchased a six-month supply of the proprietary treatment and was instructed to inject himself with it three times per week. Spokespeople for the company contend that they explained the proper procedure for self-injection and the proper steps to take in case of emergency. They also contended that Howard waited too long to seek medical help after his first home self-injection led to an erection that lasted two days.
While we all like to believe that medical professionals have our best interests at heart, cases like Howard’s show that doctors are only all too human. If you are ever given medical instructions that seem to go against your common sense or better judgment, seek a second opinion. And if you or someone you know has been injured as the result of medical malpractice, call MLN Law at 404-531-9700 to schedule a free consultation.