Appeals Court Cuts $4M Award to $600,000

      BRONX, N.Y. (CN) – A woman who complained of pain during sex after she lost 200 pounds via gastric bypass surgery should have her $4 million award reduced drastically as well, a New York Appeals court ruled.
     Allison Yusefa Hugh was 38 years old and weighed 380 pounds when she had her surgery. She had a hard time walking after the surgery due to her excess skin.
     After rejecting several doctors and ideas for surgical options, she agreed to have Dr. Ferdinand Ofodile perform a lateral thigh lift.
     Ofodile warned Hugh that the surgery had potential side effects of lung collapse, thrombosis and infection. But Hugh said he did not warn her about the side effects of vaginal widening and labial distortion.
     Ofodile testified that his patient’s vagina ended up essentially the same with a slightly different shape.
     Hugh claimed that she suffered pain when she began a sexual relationship, but her last two gynecologists reported that her genitalia appeared to be normal.
     Hugh sued Odofile, alleging lack of informed consent and departure from accepted medical practice. The trial court ruled in her favor, and the Manhattan-based First Department New York Appellate Division agreed.
     But the damages award, which the jury determined to be $60 million and the trial court reduced to $4 million, should be dropped again to $600,000, the appellate division ruled.
     “There wasn’t any expert testimony at all relating to physical pain other than some tightness during sexual relations, and that claim for damages therefore should be limited,” the appellate division wrote in a 3-2 decision.
     Justice Rosalyn Richter wrote in dissent that damages should be set at $1.6 million. Richter wrote that the surgery led to the end of Hahn’s modeling career, the demise of her event-planning business and “deep sadness and depression.”

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