Cook County Jury Verdict for the Misdiagnosis of Teen’s Testicular Torsion Leading to Sterilization

A Cook County jury entered a $351,000 jury verdict for 14-year-old Arkadiusz Sztuk who arrived at the emergency room at Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Ill., with complaints of lower left abdominal pain. He was examined and treated by the defendant pediatric emergency room physician, Dr. Jagvir Singh.

In the medical negligence lawsuit filed on his behalf, it was alleged that the defendants, including Advocate Health & Hospital Corp. d/b/a as Advocate Lutheran General Hospital and Dr. Singh, were negligent in choosing not to diagnose left-sided testicular torsion, choosing not to perform a testicular examination to rule out torsion and failing to surgically prophylactically fix or fasten the right testicle or the right-sided torsion.

Testicular torsion takes place when a testicle rotates twisting the spermatic cord that brings blood to the scrotum. With the reduced blood flow, the results of the torsion can be very painful and cause swelling. Testicular torsion most commonly occurs to boys between the ages of 12 and 16. In most cases, testicular torsion requires emergency surgery. If treated quickly, the testicle can be saved. However, if the blood flow has been cut off for a long period of time, the testicle may be so badly damaged as to require its removal.

In this case, Arkadiusz developed right-sided testicular torsion, which was treated at Resurrection Medical Center in February 2009. At that time, medical personnel surgically removed the right testicle, discovered atrophy of the left testicle and fixed the atrophied/shrunken left testicle to the scrotum in an attempt to salvage hormone production.

Unfortunately, Arkadiusz is now sterile and must take testosterone replacement therapy for the rest of his life.

The defendants argued that he did not suffer from testicular torsion at the time he arrived at Lutheran General in that he had none of the classic symptoms such as painful or swollen testicles and that Dr. Singh found no reproducible symptoms when he examined the testicle.

However, the plaintiff asserted that the presenting complaints for testicular torsion in an adolescent can be limited to lower quadrant pain without testicle pain. The defendants should have considered testicular torsion and investigated further, especially after diagnostic tests came back normal and the source of the abdominal pain was not found. According to the report of this case, the jury deliberated for four hours.

The attorney representing Arkadiusz Sztuk was Michael M. Cushing. The demand before trial was $3,600,000. The offer to settle by the defendants was $350,000. The jury was asked to return a verdict of $5 million.

The Cook County jury verdict of $351,000 was made up of the following damages:

• $40,000 for past pain and suffering;
• $40,000 for future pain and suffering;
• $120,500 for past loss of normal life;
• $120,500 for future loss of normal life;
• $30,000 for disfigurement.

At the jury trial, the plaintiff introduced experts who testified in emergency medicine and urology. The defense presented an emergency medicine expert physician.

Sztuk v. Advocate Health & Hospital Corp., et al., 12 L 8882 (Cook County, Ill.).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling medical negligence cases, birth trauma and birth injury cases, hospital negligence cases and nursing home negligence cases for individuals and families who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of a medical provider for more than 40 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Naperville, New Lenox, Mundelein, Lincolnshire, Orland Park, Chicago (Sheffield, South Loop, University of Chicago, Wildwood, Wrigleyville, Printer’s Row, Chinatown, Edgewater, Edison Park, Horner Park, Humboldt Park, Hyde Park, Bronzeville, Koreatown, Jefferson Park, DePaul University Area, Bucktown, Morgan Park), Cicero, Deerfield and Lisle, Ill.

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