A Penis Fracture and an Emergency Room Oversight

In 2009, the story of the R.I. lawsuit began in his own home when he, engaging in sexual relations, injured his penis. That morning R.I. contacted the nearest emergency room, in Bogalusa, and was advised to go to the St. Tammany Parish Hospital (STPH) immediately. Upon arrival at the hospital, his penile fracture was soon correctly diagnosed by Dr. Susan Craig of STPH.

Penis fractures are the result of a trauma that ruptures or tears the lining of one of the two fabric cylinders within the penis. These cylinders are known as corpus cavernosum and fill with blood during an erection thereby causing the hardening effect. When these are damaged, the person will experience severe pain, bruising, blood in urine, and a partial or complete inability to become erect. Without treatment a penis may become deformed and lead to permanent erectile dysfunction.1334532_ambulance.jpg

During R.I.’s visit, Dr. Craig contacted the on-call urologist, Dr. Purohit, regarding the injury. Ivy was discharged with pain medication and Dr. Purohit’s phone number with instructions to contact him in the morning. The discharge information given to Ivy described the nature of penile fractures as “a surgical emergency and the sooner the problem is repaired, the more likely there will be a satisfactory or good result. Emergency surgical repair offers the best chance of recovery with a correct working penis.”

R.I. contended the next morning he contacted Dr. Purohit but was unable to get an appointment for surgery because, despite having adequate assets, he was uninsured.

Mr. R.I. sought out the legal support of the Cardone Law Firm to represent him against STPH. With the assistance of counsel, Ivy brought an action against STPH under the Louisiana Anti-Dumping Statute and Emergency Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA). Both acts are meant to protect those who are uninsured (or even indignant) from being turned away for certain necessary emergency care or treatment. The true factual issue of the case became whether other patients who presented with the same condition as Russ Ivy, who had medical insurance, were turned away without the recommended surgical intervention.

At trial, the hospital’s counsel moved for summary judgment. When a party moves for summary judgment they are asking the court to rule in their favor before continuing a lengthy expensive trial. However, summary judgment asks the court to simply decide on the law with the given facts, meaning if there is any question of fact -then summary judgment can not be granted and the case must go to trial. Unfortunately for Mr. R.I. the court granted summary judgement in favor of the hospital and the decision was affirmed on appeal. The court held in favor of the hospital because in the discovery process it was revealed that this is standard procedure of STPH and the anti-dumping statute only extends to stabilizing the hurt party. In this case, Mr. R.I. left the hospital stable.


If you or a loved one suffered or are suffering as a result of misdiagnosing, medical malpractice, negligence in treatment or care, or any other exacerbation of an injury due to failures of trained professionals please contact our experienced Louisiana injury attorneys to schedule your free consultation. We serve clients in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and throughout Louisiana.

Injured? Phone Cardone. 1-888-89-CARDONE (1-888-892-2736).