Man awarded $750K for a 6 day erection while locked up at Rikers

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By NY Daily News

A former inmate’s untreated six-day erection while locked up in The Tombs has climaxed in a $750,000 settlement from the city.

Rodney Cotton, 50, reached the six-figure deal on the eve of going to trial.

He claims he suffered “permanent injuries to his penis” and “loss of function” due to the negligence of doctors at the Manhattan Detention Center and correction officers who ignored his pleas for help.

“They took my manhood!” Cotton of Brooklyn told the Daily News on Monday. “It’s embarrassing. We’re here to create. I can’t perform my duties as a man.”

Nicholas Paolucci, a spokesman for the city Law Department, confirmed a settlement had been reached.

“Settling the case was in the best interest of the city,” Paolucci told The News.

Cotton initially filed a $10 million lawsuit against the city, the Department of Corrections and the city Health and Hospitals Corporation back in 2012.

“If I had the choice between the reward and having my manhood restored, I’d have my manhood restored in a heartbeat,” said Cotton, who has been incarcerated for 39 of his 50 years, including a prison stint for a 1989 manslaughter case in Brownsville.

His hard times began when he was prescribed the anti-psychotic drug Risperdal to treat a bipolar disorder while doing time in The Tombs for violating parole stemming from a 2008 bust for illegal possessing 68 Vicodin and 100 Xanax pills.

One of the side effects of the medication — which he took with drugs to treat heart disease, asthma, diabetes and other ailments — was a painful, six-day erection.

“It didn’t go down. It hurt and it started pounding,” recalled Cotton.

Despite his moaning and groaning, and “difficulty walking,” correction officers and two doctors at the jail told him his case was not an emergency.

“He made numerous complaints of a priapism condition, for which inadequate care and attention was provided by the infirmary on premises,” the suit charged.

Cotton was forced to wait out the long Independence Day weekend of 2011 in his cell with just an ice pack and Tylenol.

“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.”

It wasn’t until he saw a third jailhouse doctor on July 8, 2011, that he was sent to Bellevue Hospital for emergency surgery, in which a catheter was implanted in his penis.

Following surgery he was sent back to the jail with stitches he was told were self-dissolving. But by Aug. 9, 2011, the stitches became embedded in the skin of his penis and had to be removed by a doctor — without anesthesia, he said.

“He suffered permanent injuries to his penis, including loss of function, mutilation of penis, continued pain and discomfort…,” the suit reads.

The lawsuit also named as defendants doctors working for Corizon, the controversial non-profit company that runs health-care services for the city jails.

In June, the city declined to renew Corizon’s contract after state officials and health advocates slammed the company for providing inadequate care to inmates.

Cotton said he plans to use his settlement money to move to Atlanta, where his daughter lives.

“It’s a new start,” he said.

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