Jury: No medical negligence in penile implant procedure

WILMINGTON, Del. — There was no medical negligence in a penile implant procedure that the patient said left him with an 8-month erection, a jury in Delaware ruled Monday.

A New Castle County Superior Court jury deliberated less than two hours over two days before ruling that urologist Dr. Thomas Desperito was not negligent in the procedure he performed in December 2009 on truck driver Daniel Metzgar, 44.

Metzgar’s attorney, Michael C. Heyden, said, “We’re stunned,” as he and his client left the courthouse.

During the week-long trial, Metzgar testified that his constant erection drew taunts from family and friends, as well as stares, slurs and threats from strangers. He testified that the procedure caused him to withdraw from much of life, wearing long, baggy sweat pants and a long shirt to hide his condition.

Metzgar had the prosthesis removed in August 2010, after tubing from the device punctured his scrotum.

Desperito’s attorney, Colleen D. Shields, had suggested that Metzgar should have known something was wrong after the surgery, when he said his scrotum swelled to the size of a volleyball. Instead, Shields said, Metzgar didn’t report anything was wrong until April.

Desperito hugged his attorney after the verdict, The News Journal of Wilmington reported. Shields said, “We think the jury reached the right result in this case. We’re pleased. The system worked.”

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