Decision Reversed in Wrong Diagnosis Case
The decision to dismiss a medical malpractice lawsuit brought by a man who lost a testicle after being wrongly diagnosed has been reversed by the Arkansas Court of Appeals.
Nicholas Rone called his family physician on October 11, 2001, after experiencing a sudden onset of pain in his lower abdomen and scrotum. His physician directed him to go to the emergency room.
That same day, Rone went to Bates Medical Center where emergency room physician Dr. Ronny Phipps diagnosed him with epididymitis. The doctor prescribed him an antibiotic and told him to see his family physician “soon.”
Rone’s father, a veterinarian, suspected that his son actually had a condition known as testicular torsion – a urological emergency that requires almost immediate treatment. When his father asked to see the results of Rone’s blood tests, he was told they were not available.
Four days later on October 15th, Rone was diagnosed with testicular torsion and his right testicle was removed. According to his family physician, the condition should have been treated “within six to eight hours from onset of pain and swelling.”
Rone filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against Phipps in October 2003, seeking compensation for his medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and disfigurement. In October 2005, Senior Circuit Court Judge Tom Keith granted the doctor’s motion for dismissal.
The state court reversed the decision to dismiss earlier this month based on medical expert testimony that Phipps violated the standard of care, causing Rone to lose his testicle.
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