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April 22, 2008 - Rectal Exam Lawsuit Rejected by NY Jury

April 22, 2008 - A New York jury found no wrongdoing by a hospital that tried to examine the rectum of a construction worker who had been struck on the head by a wooden beam.

Brian Persaud sued NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital for unspecified damages. The jury found that the hospital and its medical staff were not liable for the damages.

Persaud's lawyers indicated that he might appeal. His attorneys believe the decision is a “miscarriage of justice.”

The hospital's lawyer declined to comment on the outcome.

The 38-year-old construction worker was injured while at a site in midtown Manhattan on May 20, 2003. He received eight stitches for a cut over his eyebrow while in the emergency room at the hospital, but denied staffers’ request to examine his rectum, Persaud’s lawyer said. The doctors told Persaud that the exam was necessary to help determine whether the accident had caused any damage to his spine.

When Persaud refused the exam, emergency room staff held him down while he demanded that they stop. Persaud hit a doctor while flailing around, so the staffers administered a sedative and performed the rectal exam, he said.

Witnesses testified that the exam was never actually completed, but Persaud’s attorney said that when he woke up handcuffed to the bed, he had an oxygen tube in his throat and lubricant in his rectum.

Persaud’s attorneys maintain that when he told emergency room staff that he did not want the procedure, they should have stopped.

The attorneys believe that the rectal exam was performed as retaliation because for hitting a doctor.

His attorneys said that Persaud is currently unemployed and has not been able to hold a job since the incident.

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