In what is sure to go down as the worst injury known to man, an Oregonian has filed suit after having his penis amputated as a result of alleged nursing home neglect. As reported by The Oregonian, the 60-year old man checked into the Oregon City Health Care Center on December 26, 2013, to recover from a kidney infection. He repeatedly complained of pain and bleeding around his catheter, but the nursing home staff allegedly failed to address the problem. On January 20, 2014, the man checked himself out of the nursing home against the staff’s advice and sought medical care at a local hospital, where he was immediately treated for sepsis. Because his penis was so infected, surgeons apparently had no choice but to amputate. The man also allegedly suffered from acute diastolic heart failure, kidney damage, breathing problems, and anemia. The man has incurred up to $2 million in medical bills, lost wages, and other economic damages. He is also seeking $6 million for pain and suffering. Not surprisingly, his wife is also seeking $1 million for loss of consortium.
While it is possible there could be some issues with causation if the amputation is related to the kidney disease rather than the alleged neglect, we here at Abnormal Use are much more interested in discussing the man’s damages. For many, the $9 million price tag may actually be considered a bargain. It is certainly a loss that most would never want to consider. There may be no amount of money that can compensate for the loss of a penis – at least for the extrinsic value the man places on it.
On the other hand, we have to wonder whether a penis depreciates in value? Should we be determining value based on some kind of legal rubric that factors in age, past usage, current usage, et cetera? It is certainly arguable that the injury to an older man may not carry the same weight was an injury to a college student, for example. Sure, this argument may sound picky and perhaps a little NSFW, but we are defense lawyers, after all.
At the end of the day, assuming the nursing home is liable, we expect this case to end by way of a hefty settlement. Taking this case to trial would probably be risky. After all, some portion of the jury will be made up of men, all of which would pay millions to keep from suffering the same fate.