On August 21, 2019 an appellate court revived a medical malpractice claim that had been dismissed against a urologist, an emergency medicine physician and Huntington Hospital located in Suffolk County, New York. A 13 year old boy presented to the emergency room at Huntington Hospital complaining of pain in the lower right side of his abdomen. Various tests, including an abdominal CT scan, ruled out an appendicitis or other emergent condition, so the boy was discharged home. The next afternoon he returned to the same emergency room complaining of testicular pain and swelling - but - there was an additional delay of 2 1/2 hours in performing an ultrasound and over a 3 hour delay in surgery to "de-torsion" the right testicle. Both sides agreed that there is a very brief window of opportunity to save the testicle which requires prompt surgical intervention. At surgery it was found that "the right testicle was twisted three full turns" which cut off blood supply destroying the testicle.
An orchiectomy was performed to remove the testicle and replace it with a prosthesis. The lower court dismissed this case on a finding that plaintiff's pediatric emergency medicine was from Connecticut and lacked the experience of a urologist. The appellate court disagreed stating that an out-of-state expert in pediatric emergency medicine was "qualified to opine as to whether the delays in diagnosing and treating the infant plaintiff's testicular torsion, an emergent condition, deviated from the accepted standard of care and whether the deviations were a proximate cause of the loss of the infant's testicle." The experts from both sides will now have to present their medical arguments to a jury who will decide whether to hold the defendant's liable and, if so, how much money should be awarded to compensate the boy for his loss. M.C. v Huntington Hospital, 2019 WL 3938520