Army veteran says treatment caused frostbitten penis, led to partial amputation

LOUISVILLE, Kentucky - A U.S. Army veteran is seeking $10 million from the federal government, saying a nurse repeatedly put ice packs on his penis after surgery, causing frostbite and gangrene and ultimately leading to the organ's partial amputation.

Michael D. Nash sued the federal government in U.S. District Court in Kentucky on Tuesday for what he calls medical malpractice.

Nash, 61, went to the Veterans Administration hospital in Lexington in 2010 for a penile implant and circumcision. His attorneys said a nurse packed his groin in ice for 19 hours afterward, and 5 inches (127 millimeters) of his penis later had to be amputated.

"It basically caused frostbite on his penis, which eventually caused gangrene," attorney Larry Jones said. "In addition to robbing someone of their manhood, they've robbed him of the simple ability to urinate just like every other person who lives in this world."

Jones said Nash will require reconstructive surgery that will allow him to urinate.

A message left for the Veterans Administration was not immediately returned.

The Department of Veterans Affairs in July rejected a civil claim from Nash.

"It is our opinion that there was no negligence on the part of the Department of Veterans Affairs or any of its employees in connection with the claimed loss; therefore your claim is denied," wrote Melinda Frick, a regional counsel for the VA.