Veteran Sues Government For $10 Million Over Frostbitten Penis

Army Vet Suing After Losing Penis At VA Hospital




For years, VA hospitals have been outscoring private facilities in terms of customer satisfaction, and outperforming their peers in quality of care. But one 61-year-old Army veteran claims his body has been butchered due to negligent treatment at a VA medical center: He says an ice pack left on his penis led to frostbite, which led to gangrene, which led to a partial amputation, which has led to a lawsuit against the federal government for $10 million.

Michael Nash says that in October 2010 he went to the VA Medical Center in Louisville, Ky., for a penile prosthesis-placement procedure and circumcision. According to experts interviewed by CNN, it is standard after such an operation for an ice pack to be applied to the groin for two to four hours, between layers of gauze. But according to the lawsuit, a nurse left an ice pack directly on Nash's penis for approximately 19 hours.

This led to severe frostbite, the lawsuit states, and a little over two weeks later Nash had a partial penectomy, in which a 5-inch section of his penis was removed. According to his attorney, Larry Jones, he no longer can have sex and will need reconstructive surgery to urinate normally.

"In addition to robbing someone of their manhood, they've robbed him of the simple ability to urinate just like every other person who lives in this world," Jones told The Associated Press.

More: More Post-9/11 Veterans Choose 'Second Service' And Run For Political Office

The Department of Veterans Affairs reviewed and rejected Nash's claim in July, stating that it did not believe there was any negligence. So Nash filed suit, claiming that he incurred, and will continue to incur, medical expenses, lost wages, as well as pain, suffering, mental anguish and loss of the enjoyment of life.

"It's completely devastated this man emotionally," Jones told CNN. Nash is seeking up to $10 million in compensation, plus attorney's fees.

The care provided by VA facilities has improved dramatically over the years, but its recent history is still dotted with disturbing reports of negligence. In 2008, the VA Medical Center in Philadelphia suspended its brachytherapy program after it was found that dozens of veterans had received incorrect radiation doses over a 6-year period.

In 2009, it emerged that 11,000 veterans in three cities had received colonoscopies and endoscopies with equipment that may not have been properly sterilized, exposing the patients to deadly diseases. And surprise inspections that year at 42 of the country's 56 VA hospitals found that 43 percent failed to meet standards for cleanliness and safety.


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Claire Gordon

Staff Writer

Claire Gordon has contributed to Slate's DoubleX, the Huffington Post, and the book Prisons: Current Controversies. While an undergraduate at Yale University and a research fellow at Yale graduate school, she spoke on panels at Yale and Cornell, and reported from Cairo, Tokyo, and Berlin.

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Tommy Cordero

We will soon be launching the Project Stem Cell website to collect donations in order to fund stem cells research. Not any kind of research, though; Project Stem Cell wants to focus on SEX! That's right, sex. We want to find solutions for people who have sexual and reproductive 'deficiencies' including those who have experience trauma to their genitals. Please give us one of your spare 'likes' and help us build a network.
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Project-Stem-Cell/336467689783491

October 13 2012 at 5:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
corvairdoug

it makes no sense-19 hours? An icepack would melt and be harmless after a few hours. The only way it"s plausible is if it was replaced repeatedly. I would bet the surgeon cut off some blood supply somewhere.

October 05 2012 at 6:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Donald

The way the law is written you can only sue the VA after they actually cause you harm. The VA is terrible and has been terrible for 30+ years. There is no honor in how veterans are treated by the VA.

October 05 2012 at 11:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Donald's comment
Alfred

Donald please respond to this, they did harm me, medical malpractise in 12/1972 I finally got my medical records and the attorneys are saying there is a time limit and they cannot help me.
What info do you have for seeking damages from the VA,?
AlfredMG@aol..com

October 09 2012 at 4:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
katie

I use the VA and LOVE IT! Things like this happen every day in private facilities, yes he had a bad nurse, who didn't check on him, yes she should be accountable as should the hospital, but where is his accountability? Did he not use his call button? Was he so out of it that he didn't know he had an icepack there? I have had a half dozen surgeries and given birth 3 times and I always knew I had an ice pack or iced glove in those sensitive areas and when it was too much I took it off myself. Either the guy is stupid or ...

October 05 2012 at 10:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jay love

maybe we should simply abolished the entire VA system used to treat our Veterine patients and contract out that care, (mayby merge it wth Medicair) with private hospitals and doctors? seniors love Medicaire, why not for vets also? many vets have Medicaire anyway?

October 05 2012 at 10:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jay love

This is just my opinion, but for years I have felt we as a country could make better strides in our over-all medical care and our Federal budget if we simply abolished the entire VA system used to treat our Veterine patients and contract out that care, (mayby merge it wth Medicair) with private hospitals and doctors? Vets could choose to be seen at ANY primary, or specialist doctor they wanted and any private hospitals whom take Medicaire now? the Federal govt. purse would simply pay those providers the prevailing cost for any proceedures just like Medicaire does now for seniors.

October 05 2012 at 10:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jay love

This is just my opinion, but for years I have felt we as a country could make better strides in our over-all medical care and our Federal budget if we simply abolished the entire VA system used to treat our Veterine patients and contract out that care, (mayby merge it wth Medicair) with private hospitals and doctors? Vets could choose to be seen at ANY primary, or specialist doctor they wanted and any private hospitals whom take Medicaire now? the Federal govt. purse would simply pay those providers the prevailing cost for any proceedures just like Medicaire does now for seniors, Medicaire could handle that billing so as not to create a new govt. monster entity? sort of like a Medicair for all scheme, in fact you could go one further and do a Medicaire for all system where eash person pays into the system their premium, they can choose a private health care insurance company as seniors now have the choice to do and they would administer payments to providers? but my idea might be too simply for the feds?

October 05 2012 at 10:03 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to jay love's comment
Alfred

@Jay Love;
Its a nice thought but face the facts, the VA Hospitals are TRAINING HOSPITALS and without them the many students in the VA system would not get trained. Also without them there would be way to many Veterans on the VA Disability pay roll. because they would be living longer with better health care and getting benefits longer. The Government has it set up so it is harder to sue a Doctor there for medical malpractice for injuries and the best you can hope for is a disability rating and free followup care that eventually kills you. It is a win win situation for the Government.

And yes I am a VET Vietnam Era and I was injured during my Service and have been lied to by the VA about the extent of my injuries and my injuries were made worse by the malpractise and now my life expectancy is very short due to the injuries and malpractise and more injuries received while working there as a VA Employee. I fractured my coxcyx while on duty in the Navy causing sicattica pain, they could not find the injury damage, they transcribed my military medical records and left out the crucial point of impact area of the glueteal fold, (LIE #1) then after I was discharged from service I filed for benefits and they could not find anything so they said I had spinal bifida. (LIE #2) Then they did a Lower Lumbar Myleogram on my spine and left the dye in my spine. It caused Adhesive arachnoiditis, empty thecal sac, Cauda Equina Syndrome and Bulging discs. documented by them that the dye is in me, but medical records were "LOST", (LIE #3), until this year when a clerk decided to work against them and help me, she pulled them up and now it is too late to file a claim for malpractise becasue the damage was done in December 1972, and it is now 2012. Then after all the years fo trying to get a VA Job, I finally got one in 2010, and while working on the roof on AC equipment, I slipped and fell and ruptured my Discs at 3 places made weak from the dye, and I have been lied to again by the VA, this time as an employee. They said I kept having unexplained Groin pain when I would talk of my back pain to my primary care physician. Trying to make it seem as if I was trying to fake an injury for money. I finally got to a real doctor 3 months after the accident and he took me off work permanently because if I keep working I may lose my ability to walk in addition to the pain I am in. My NeuroSurgeon said my condition is inoperable due to the dye causing the problems mentioned and that I have to be extremely careful in lifting or carrying things as it may force the discs to cut a few nerves and I lose my ability to walk, as it is I have no sensations in my legs and am developing drop foot syndrome from the nerve damage as well as ED from Nerve damage
As it stands I will never work again due to the pain and the meds I am on. case in point it took me 90 minutes to type this because of the pain and inability to focus.

Ronald Regan (R) Changed our vet benefits and the system

October 09 2012 at 4:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
yoretha

Were his arms broken too? He couldn't move the ice pack? 19 hours? Ice? It didn't melt? He couldn't feel his weiner being frozen?

October 05 2012 at 9:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
THE GREAT NANCINATOR

Unfortunately, I believe him...some VA hospitals are very capable of this.

October 05 2012 at 9:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
kvh32055

Oh for crying out loud. The guy already had a limp noodle and wasn't getting any use form it. Get over it gramps

October 05 2012 at 8:00 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

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