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Hospital named in genital amputation lawsuit

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By The Staff

Jewish Hospital Shelbyville has now been added to the list of parties being sued by a Waddy man who says his penis was amputated by mistake last fall.

Phillip Seaton, 61, and his wife, Deborah, filed suit Oct. 7 in Shelby County Circuit Court against the hospital where the surgery was performed last October.

Seaton previously filed suit against the doctor who performed the surgery, Dr. John Patterson, the anesthesiologist, Dr. Oliver James, as well as Commonwealth Urology, PSC, in Frankfort, which employs Patterson.

Seaton has said that he was only supposed to undergo a circumcision but that Patterson removed the entire penis without his consent.

He accuses James of using general anesthesia on him after assuring him that he would not. Seaton has said he did not want to be completely anesthetized because he has sleep apnea.

In suit against the hospital, Seaton charges that it negligently failed to supervise its employees and non-employees properly. The suit also says that Seaton was under the care and treatment of the medical staff at the hospital and that it is the employer of Dr. James and, thus, is liable for his actions.

Hospital officials have not commented on the lawsuit.

But both doctors and Commonwealth Urology have filed official responses with the court seeking the dismissal of the suit.

Patterson’s attorney, Clay Robinson, said in a statement issued last month that during the circumcision Patterson discovered that Seaton’s penis was cancerous.

Although Seaton charges that Patterson removed his penis without permission, Patterson countered in his written statement that Seaton had signed a patient-consent form authorizing the doctor to perform any procedures that in his professional judgment were needed.

Seaton said in his lawsuit against the doctor that by amputating his penis, the doctor robbed him of his right to get a second opinion or to consider possible options and treatments.

In his reply to the lawsuit, filed Oct. 8, James “denies that he was negligent,” and that any damage to Seaton “resulted in whole or in part from intervening acts and/or superseding causes over which [James] had no control.”

Kevin George, attorney for the Seatons, said Tuesday that the next phase of the lawsuit will consist of taking depositions from all parties involved.

“That will take place in December,” he said. “In the meantime, Phillip is doing as well as can be expected — much better than I would be if I were in his situation, I’m sure.”