On March 21, 2022, the Honorable Lyle Frank of the Supreme Court, New York County, granted Mr. Patterson’s motion for a directed verdict on behalf of his client, a well-regarded plastic surgeon. The 34 year old male plaintiff claimed the doctor negligently performed a circumferential body lift procedure, leading to sexual dysfunction, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Plaintiff called experts in plastic surgery, urology and psychiatry.
Plaintiff’s plastic surgery expert was also a subsequent treating physician. On direct examination, the expert testified that the standard of care required a bridge of tissue of at least 6 cm. be maintained between the incision and genitalia. The doctor claimed that defendant negligently placed the incision at the base of the penis.
During Mr. Patterson’s cross examination, the witness recanted his testimony and acknowledged that there was no “line in the sand.” Rather, the decision on where to place the incision was a matter of medical judgment. Mr. Patterson also discredited the expert’s recollection as to the location of the incision/scar. The expert was presented with a contemporaneous photo demonstrating that the scar was indeed several centimeters above the base of the penis.
At the close of plaintiff’s case, after seven days of testimony, Mr. Patterson moved for a directed verdict arguing that plaintiff had failed to raise a triable issue of fact given the plastic surgery expert’s concessions on cross-examination. He also pointed to intra-operative photos which directly contradicted the expert’s testimony. After hearing oral arguments, Judge Frank granted the motion, finding that the expert’s testimony was insufficient to meet the plaintiff’s burden as a matter of law.