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Hospital Watched Baseball Instead of Treating Man's Erection?

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By Guest Writer on June 06, 2012 7:01 AM

Guest post by Jennifer K. Halford, Esq.

Better make sure the game isn't on the next time you need medical help.

Daren Scott reportedly learned this lesson the hard way.

Scott, a bus driver, is suing Yale-New Haven Hospital. He was driving from Boston to New York on in 2009, when he suffered a persistent and disabling erection. He claims staff at an affiliated facility failed to promptly and properly treat his erection.

Scott suffers from recurrent priapism, The Associated Press reports. Priapism is a painful, rare disorder that causes the penis to stay erect for more than four hours at a time without sexual stimulation.

Scott alleges hospital staff made him wait to be treated because they were watching a televised baseball game. And Scott claims this is a strike out.

Strike one: Scott says that when he checked into the facility, staff told him he had to move his bus because he had parked it in the wrong place. Scott claims he suffered more pain from moving the bus.

Strike two: Scott claims the facility's staff members were watching the baseball game on television while he was waiting in pain to be treated. He told a nurse that his pain was worsening. But according to the lawsuit, "Notwithstanding this call for help, the staff, including the physicians, continued to watch the baseball game and ignore plaintiff's condition."

Strike three: An hour later Scott was brought into a treatment room. He claims the doctor refused to properly inject his medication and did not make an attempt to consult an urologist. He was then forced to wait four more hours before undergoing surgery.

Who is out?

Scott claims the surgery was unsuccessful and he remained in great pain for months. To win a medical malpractice lawsuit, Scott will have to prove that his damages are the result of the hospital's negligence. He must show that the treatment he received fell below the accepted standard of medical care. And he suffered greater pain and injury as a result. According to his lawsuit, that greater pain totals $2 million in damages.

But the hospital isn't out of the game yet.

The hospital has filed papers denying the allegations. It claims Scott was negligent in failing to seek immediate treatment and "by failing to follow reasonable medical advice regarding his care and treatment." It also claims that Scott's lawsuit is barred by the statute of limitations.

[Jennifer K. Halford is an attorney whose practice focuses on business law and estate planning. She is also a professor at California State University, Chico, where she teaches Entrepreneurial Law.]

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