Law Office of Lowell Steiger

Jury Awards Truck Driver $9.5 Million for Permanent Damage from Erectile Dysfunction Treatment

Author: Lowell Steiger

Published On: September 29, 2009

This absolutely fascinating story comes out of Georgia where plaintiff John Henry Howard (a Georgia truck driver) sued defendant Boston Men’s Health Center, Inc. for damages suffered after treatment for erectile dysfunction (ED). A Dekalb State Court Jury of his peers awarded Howard $750,000 in compensatory damages. However, the jury also found that the defendant acted with an intent to cause harm and further awarded Howard $8.5 Million in punitive damages. Howard was brilliantly represented by attorney W. Fred Orr II, who himself received bear hugs from 10 of the 12 jury members after the trial was over.

Howard went to the clinic in an effort to resolve his ED. The waiting room was filled with literature warning about the dangers of Viagra and Cialis, ED medications which are administered orally (i.e., the little blue pills). The clinic staff advised Howard that their therapy was painless and based on a proprietary formula.

They injected medication, whose primary ingredient was papaverine, directly into his penis. Papaverine was the treatment of choice until the introduction of Viagra in 1998. Since that time, the Food and Drug Administration has warned that papaverine should not be used to treat ED.

A macho man, Howard did not run scared when faced with the injection. However, he testified that “Not a man on the face of the earth would go into one of these places if they knew what they were going to do to them.” True, how painfully true.

Not surprisingly, the injection gave him immediate results and Howard shelled out $1,200 for a six-month supply of the clinic’s medication. He was instructed to inject it into himself in the same location. He did and had “the best erection he’s ever had in his life.” Unfortunately, that best erection lasted for a couple of days. It had become painful, so he visited the clinic.

The staff removed blood from his penis in order to provide relief but that didn’t work. He wound up in the emergency room. Eventually, he discovered that the medicine caused fibrosis and scar tissue to form.

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