Former NYC Inmate Receives $750,000 Settlement After Inadequate Medical Treatment for His 6-Day Erection

Rodney Cotton
New York Daily News Screenshot

Rodney Cotton, a former inmate at New York City’s Manhattan Detention Center, was awarded $750,000 after suing the city for failing to provide him with adequate medical care when he complained that his penis was erect for six days after he took medication, the New York Daily News reports. 

In his lawsuit, Cotton says that his penis is now mutilated and deformed and has lost its function because of shoddy medical treatment and neglect that he experienced during his ordeal. 


It all started when Cotton took medication for bipolar disorder. He was also taking medication for asthma, heart disease, diabetes and other illnesses. One of the side effects of the bipolar medication was the six-day erection. Cotton told correction officers that he needed emergency medical care. Instead, Cotton said in his lawsuit, prison officials gave him an ice pack and some Tylenol. 

“It didn’t go down. It hurt and it started pounding,” Cotton said of his erection.

“I had to wear briefs or boxers. I couldn’t wear jeans,” Cotton said. “They had me walking around like that for almost a week.”

After a few days, Cotton was rushed into surgery at New York City's Bellevue Hospital, but a medical mishap reportedly happened there, too. Doctors told him that the stitches he received on his penis would dissolve on their own, but when that didn’t happen, a month later, Cotton had to undergo another painful surgery to have the stitches—which had become embedded in his skin—removed. That surgery severely altered his penis. 


“They took my manhood! It’s embarrassing. We’re here to create. I can’t perform my duties as a man,” he said.   

Read more at the New York Daily News.

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