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Final order signed in malpractice suit


© St. Petersburg Times, published May 4, 2000

DADE CITY -- A judge signed an order of final judgment Wednesday in the case of a man whose penis was mutilated in a botched urological procedure.

The order signed by Circuit Judge Maynard Swanson adds $400,000 in attorney's fees and related costs to the $979,000 awarded to Rafael Arias and his wife by a Pasco County jury in September.

Attorneys for the defendant, Dr. Jordan Baum, have already filed papers indicating they will appeal the judgment.

The all-female jury found that Baum was responsible for badly damaging Arias' penis during a routine procedure in 1996. Arias said in his lawsuit that Baum didn't warn him about possible complications, then was unsympathetic when the wound reopened in the middle of the night two weeks after the procedure.

Baum's attorneys asked Swanson for a new trial on the grounds that the judge did not allow the jury to consider that a plastic surgeon also may have contributed to the damage to Arias' penis.

An expert witness for the defense testified that the plastic surgeon, Dr. Bruce Mast, deserved some of the blame for using a skin graft in an attempt to repair the damage.

Swanson denied the request for a new trial in February.

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