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LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- He went in for a circumcision to treat an infection and woke up with a part of his penis amputated. He lost when he tried to sue the doctor who performed the surgery.
So Phillip Seaton is trying again.
Arms crossed, appearing calm, with his wife at his side, 65-year-old Phillip Seaton sat in the Kentucky Court of Appeals watching his lawyer fight for a new trial. His attorney Kevin George said Tuesday, "The question is who gets to decide. I consent to a surgery and circumcision? When do I get to decide when the doctor does a penectomy and take away my options?"
Urologist John Patterson discovered cancer during Seaton's circumcision at Jewish Hospital's Shelby campus in October 2007. His lawyers say the partial penile removal ultimately saved Seaton's life.
Defense Attorney Clayton Robinson said, "Normal penile tissue had been obliterated by cancer, the tip of the penis...had been completely replaced by cancer. It was infected, nacrotic, and dead and Dr. Patterson had a decision to make."
Consent is the real issue here. Seaton's lawyer argued there was an error in jury instruction and that there should have been a verdict from the judge. Defense says Doctor Patterson gained permission to do the procedure when Seaton signed the medical release forms.
Judge Janet Stumbo said Tuesday, "All the testimony, if I recalled it correctly, says they could have stopped right there, woken him up, and referred him to someone else without there being a risk of death at that moment. So was it truly an emergency, that's the question?"
Seaton wouldn't comment after Tuesday's hearing.
During the original trial in August of 2011 he revealed he was illiterate and couldn't read the hospital consent forms, saying then, "I got up out of the bed, went to the restroom and looked to see what he was talking about, and I pulled the dressing down and I didn't see nothing."
Seaton has since undergone a full penile removal. He sued for more than $16 million, citing loss of love, service, and affection. The jury awarded him nothing.
The panel of three judges -- two women and one man -- expects to rule on whether to toss out the that verdict within two months.
Doctor Patterson was not in court Tuesday. Seaton also sued Jewish Hospital and settled for an undisclosed amount of money.