San Diego, CA | A transsexual woman is suing a Mexican veterinarian for $250,000 after she suffered severe complications on an operating table while undergoing surgery.
Chelsea Armstrong traveled to Tijuana, Mexico, last month for a male-to-female sex reassignment surgery where part of her penis and both of her testicles were surgically removed.
Armstrong claims she contacted the alleged surgeon through his website multiple times and found his prices affordable.
Manuel Jose Cristobal Mendez, a 39-year-old veterinarian, originally offered to proceed to the operation for 13,000 Mexican Pesos (approx. $700 USD).
Mendez allegedly withheld the fact that he was a veterinarian and not a surgeon, according to the plaintiff.
“My client was never told that Mr. Mendez was, in fact, a veterinarian and not an accredited surgeon and now suffers from multiple health complications and shows severe signs of depression” Armstrong’s lawyer, Judith Goldenberg, told reporters.
“Her Spanish was very poor and during our email exchange, I clearly never stated that I was a surgeon. I also gave her back the money after I decided not to finish the operation,” he told a local news crew.
Mendez attempted to perform a sex reassignment surgery on Armstrong with little success and had to cancel the operation 17 hours into the surgery.
Armstrong’s lawyer says Mendez removed the plaintiff’s testicles and part of her penis, leaving the plaintiff with what she describes as a “butchered lump instead of her original male genitalia”.
The plaintiff also claims the physical pain she constantly suffers from her mutilated genitals have made her life a living hell and said she has to urinate using a straw which she must painfully insert into her urethra.
During male-to-female sex reassignment surgery, the testicles are usually removed, and the skin of the foreskin and penis is usually inverted as a flap preserving blood and nerve supplies to form a fully sensitive vagina.
Courts in the U.S. generally apply the law of the place where the injury occurred, not the law of the state where the court is located.
Law in the state of Baja California currently limits damage liability in personal injury cases to a maximum of 95,000 Mexican Pesos (approx. $5,000 USD).