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Medical malpractice - Surgery - Pain after inguinal hernia repair - Alleged negligent ileo-inguinal nerve ligation.

New York County, NY (168519)

In this medical malpractice case, the male plaintiff contended that he experienced severe pain for twenty months following hernia surgery performed by the defendant surgeon. He maintained that the pain was a result of nerve damage which occurred during the surgery as a result of negligence on the part of the defendant. The defendant maintained that nerve damage was a potential and unavoidable complication of the surgery.

The 37-year-old plaintiff owned a gym in New York City and worked there as a personal trainer. He sought the services of the defendant surgeon for an open inguinal hernia surgery. Surgery was performed on February 15, ________. The plaintiff complained of intense right groin and testicular pain and burning immediately after the surgery. He was diagnosed with post-operative incisional pain and was prescribed a narcotic. A month later, he experienced pain during erection. The defendant surgeon diagnosed him with a thrombosed subcutaneous vein and referred him to a physical medicine expert. The expert diagnosed scar tenderness and prescribed two months of pain medication.

The plaintiff then sought the services of a pain management expert who attributed his "neuropathic groin pain" to a possible "ileo-inguinal nerve ligation" from the hernia surgery performed by the defendant. Twenty months after the hernia surgery, the plaintiff consulted a surgeon who also suspected that a nerve was injured during the surgery. This surgeon performed an exploratory surgery and found that the ileo-sanguinal nerve was trapped in a suture. He sacrificed the nerve to reduce the pain. The plaintiff allegedly continues to suffer permanent pain and neurological symptoms. While he experienced a 75% reduction of pain, he still required heavy narcotic use and still had significant pain during intercourse and ejaculation.

The surgeon performing the corrective surgery opined on behalf of the plaintiff that the suturing of the nerve constituted malpractice and could have easily been avoided during the hernia surgery. The defense presented a general surgeon expert who maintained that the plaintiff’s symptoms were much more consistent with nerve entrapment syndrome, a sometimes unavoidable complication of hernia surgery, rather than nerve ligation.

The plaintiff alleged that, while he could still manage his gym, he could no longer perform as a personal trainer.

The plaintiff’s pre-trial demand was $________. He asked the jury for $________ for past pain and suffering. After deliberating for two hours, the jury found unanimously for the defendant.