Medical Malpractice/botched vasectomy
Hello, my husband had a vasectomy done in October of 2014 at a medical school that is part of Idaho State University. There was a Dr. present while a student was walked though the procedure. We did not have insurance any longer so I couldn't afford birth control pills or afford to get my tubes tied. After 3 months on a waiting list and about $3000 in Dr bills (the vasectomy itself was about $400)my husband has lost 75% of his mobility. He is in pain all day and all night. He cannot work over 20 hours comfortably(even though he does because we have bills)and has been to see a urologists multiple times to get shots to relieve the pain.
He says that during the surgery the right testicle took a very minimal amount of time. During the left testicle the Dr kept whispering to his student and my husband asked them to stop repeatedly because they were "tugging" on a nerve and he could feel this excruciating pain!
When we made the appointment they asked us to be sure to take at least 4 days off from work. After the procedure the Dr wrote my husband a note excusing him from work for a week. He wasn't able to work for 2. And has since not been able to attend work at a full time status.
There have been xrays taken (apparently clean)and copious amounts of anti-inflammatory pills prescribed thinking it could be an infection but nothing is giving him relief.
This week will be his 3rd time going in for a shot that he receives in the lower part of his abdomen.
We are very scared he will never be able to walk for decent periods (right now he can walk MAYBE 50 feet without pain and lots of recovery time), hike or bike which is something we have always incorporated into our lifestyle and of course work. We even moved to Asheville, NC so we could do more..sadly we've been able to do none of these and my husband is terrified he won't be able to ever again. I feel horrible because I should have just gotten my tubes tied. At this point it would have cost the same without the mental and physical anguish.
Please help us with your best advice, we don't know what else to do or what steps to take so he can be comfortable and begin healing. We are not the suing type but our life has been turned upside down.
Thank you so much for your time
Dawn: Nobody is the "suing type" until you suffer serious injury or harm due to the negligence of somebody else. Firstly, note that if your husband's problem was the result of medical malpractice and you wish to take legal action, the legal action must commence in the jurisdiction where the negligence occured or where the defendant (in this case the University of Idaho and individual doctors) are located.........that is to say, you must sue in Idaho. No way around that. Other preliminary law you need to know about is the Statute of Limitations. The laws of Idaho would apply and there is a time limit of TWO YEARS to begin a medical malpractice lawsuit from the time when the malpractice occured.
In my 38 years of doing med mal cases on behalf of injured patients I have never encountered a problem like this. With vasectomies the case usually has to do with failure of the procedure. But I have never heard of complications like you describe. I am not aware that there are nerves in the scrotum that if damaged could cause problems in the legs. I wish you had more details. What is being injected into his lower abdomin? That would tell us a lot. It is essential that you gain an understanding of SPECIFICALLy what kind of injury was suffered.
Here is the advice: You need to order the complete medical records from Idaho. Call the medical facility Medical Records Dept. Tell them you want the complete chart for your husand. They will send you a HIPPA compliant Authorization form for your husband to sign and return. Pay whatever their charges are for the copies. Go through the chart and then in conjunction with what his doctors in NC are telling him, determine what the diagnosis is and how it might be related to the vasectomy procedure. Then, drill his doctors to understand what the treatment will be and what the prognosis is. Once you have this information, you then go online and find the biggest baddest medical malpractice lawfirm in ID. Email them the history and diagnosis and what his doctors have said about what the problem is, how it was caused and what it will take to fix it and what the long term expectations are for a full recovery. There is no point to talking to lawyers in NC since the case must be brought in ID.
If you can get the information listed and that would be critical to getting any lawfirm to give any thought to the matter, I invite you to send that info to me. I am mostly retired now and being in CA I couldn't take on the case anyhow but I have a professional curiosity about what has happened. I could then give you my take on the situation and whether there is any point in contacting ID lawyers. If you wish to do so you can write directly to firstname.lastname@example.org.