NEW YORK – A hospital did nothing wrong when it tried to examine the rectum of a construction worker who had been hit on the head by a falling wooden beam, a jury found Monday.
After deliberating for about an hour, a state Supreme Court jury awarded nothing to Brian Persaud, who sued NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital for unspecified damages. The panel found the hospital and its emergency room medical staff were not liable.
Persaud's lawyers, Gerard Marrone and Gary DeFilippo, said he might appeal.
"We're very disappointed," Marrone said after the two-week trial. "It's a miscarriage of justice."
The hospital's lawyer, Jeffrey Lawton, declined comment.
Marrone said Persaud, 38, was injured while working at a construction site in midtown Manhattan on May 20, 2003. Persaud received eight stitches for a cut over his eyebrow at the hospital, but denied emergency room staffers' request to examine his rectum, the lawyer said. He said doctors told Persaud the exam could help determine whether the accident caused spinal damage.
When Persaud resisted, staffers held him down while he begged, "Please don't do that," Marrone said. Persaud hit a doctor while flailing around, so the staffers gave him a powerful sedative and performed the rectal exam, he said.
Hospital witnesses testified at trial that the exam was never completed, but Marrone said that when Persaud woke up he was handcuffed to a bed and had an oxygen tube down his throat and lubricant in his rectum.
"He resisted because he didn't know what they were doing," DeFilippo said. "Once he said he didn't want the rectal exam, everything should have stopped."
DeFilippo said he believes the rectal exam was done as retaliation because his panicked client hit the doctor.
A judge dismissed a misdemeanor assault charge that was filed against Persaud because he hit the doctor.
DeFilippo said his client is unemployed and has been unable to hold a job since the accident.