SHELBYVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Questions about a man's marital status came up in a civil trial over a partial penis amputation. A Shelby County man is suing his urologist, saying he woke up from a circumcision procedure to get the news.
Dr. John Patterson, the defendant, said he was under the impression that the couple was estranged. Registered Nurse Tamara Jackson, who was with his wife after surgery, told the jury what Debbie Seaton told her.
"I do not care for him," said Jackson about how Seaton described her husband. "I have not lived with him for ten years, and I have not been with him for ten years."
The plaintiff, 64-year-old Phillip Seaton, said on the stand that they had been married for 35 years. His daughter echoed that.
"Their marriage was never on the rocks," said Heather Downey, the Seaton's daughter. "They've been together I guess 35 years almost. It's just not true."
Patterson did not consult the wife during the surgery, before amputating part of Seaton's penis, but said if he had known they were together he may have left surgery to talk to her about it.
On the stand, Debbie Seaton said she would have told him not to do it.
Still Patterson's attorney defended his actions, arguing it was cancerous and sewing him back up would increase the risk of infection. An expert said the surgery may have saved Seaton's life.
"I concluded that Dr. Patterson practiced within the standard of care in providing his care to the plaintiff," said the defense's witness, urologist Dr. David Paulson.
Dr. Paulson also guessed that Seaton had had a lesion anywhere from 18 to 24 months before Patterson ever saw him.
The plaintiff's expert questioned with Patterson's decision to act immediately.
"I don't think that it was necessary to be done in that setting at that point in time," said urologist Dr. David Benson. "Based on the medical record, I couldn't identify any emergent situation that dictated an amputation."
Closing arguments could begin as early as Wednesday.